Saturday April 6, 2013No. 17 Mississippi State Clinches Series With 2-0 Win Over Florida Baseball
Senior Kendall Graveman hurled a five-hit shutout as No. 17 Mississippi State (26-8/5-6 SEC) secured its weekend series with a 2-0 victory over Florida (14-18/4-7 SEC) in front of a season-high 8,564 fans on Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The righty-hander (4-2) surrendered five singles in going the distance for his second-consecutive start and the Bulldogs made two first-inning runs stand up in the win.
MSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Gator freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-3). Junior Adam Frazier (2-for-4) led off with a double into left center and junior Alex Detz (2-for-4) roped a single into right field to advance his teammate to third base. Junior Hunter Renfroe was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. Young struck out junior Brett Pirtle (2-for-4) but then issued a walk to redshirt sophomore Wes Rea that brought home Frazier with the game’s initial run. Junior C.T. Bradford delivered an RBI grounder to first base that scored Detz and senior Mitch Slauter was walked intentionally to fill the bags with two down. The move paid off when senior Sam Frost grounded out to end the frame.
Graveman had retired seven-straight Gators before sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) began the fifth with a base-hit into right field. The right-hander had redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) ground into a 6-4-3 double play and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) extended the inning with a bloop single into right center field. Graveman then had sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) ground out.
Detz began MSU’s fifth with a single into left center, ending the afternoon for Young. In his first career road start, the southpaw gave up six hits and two runs, with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) took over on the mound and set down the next three Bulldogs to hold UF’s deficit at two runs.
After a 1-2-3 sixth that featured a couple of strikeouts by Harris, sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) drew a one-out walk in the seventh and Shafer followed with his second hit of the afternoon. However, Graveman had Powers hit into a 6-3 double play to snuff out the rally and keep the Gators off of the scoreboard.
Harris fanned junior Demarcus Henderson to start the home part of the frame to equal his career-best for strikeouts in an outing with four. Sophomore Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) replaced Harris, who retired all seven Bulldogs he faced, and had Frazier and Detz ground out.
Graveman recorded the first two outs of the eighth before issuing a free pass to freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.). The righty had a fielder’s choice by sophomore pinch hitter Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) force Martin at second base for the final out of the stanza.
Freshman Mike Vinson (Miami, Fla.) made his second appearance of the series and caught Renfroe looking on strikes before yielding a single up the middle to Pirtle. The righty had Rea bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the eighth.
Graveman notched the first two outs of the ninth before Gushue collected a single that ricocheted off the second baseman. The righty had Shafer fly out to right field to complete the shutout, the first time the Gators had been held scoreless since May 12, 2012, by Mississippi State.
The Gators and Bulldogs will wrap up the series tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET, live on GatorVision. Adam Schick and Bob White will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network, live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
· Florida had taken its last three regular-season series from Mississippi State entering the weekend.
· The Gator bullpen registered four scoreless frames this afternoon.
· Sophomore Ryan Harris’ four strikeouts equaled his personal best set against UCF on Tuesday night.
· MSU’s three double plays matched the most turned against the Gators this year.
· Freshman Danny Young made his third start of the season, second in SEC play and first on the road.
· Freshman Richie Martin’s 11-game hitting streak ended with a 0-for-2 performance.