MSU Baseball Heating Up

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A 15 run game 3 offensive explosion led MSU to its first SEC sweep of the year at Texas A&M and second straight series victory. The fact that this sweep came on the road makes it even sweeter. MSU’s offense seems to be coming to life led by a huge weekend for Hunter Renfroe where he got his season HR number to 13, which is tied for the SEC lead with Mason Katz (LSU). Not only did our bats come alive but the pitching was stellar as well. MSU only used 5 different pitchers the whole weekend including a complete game effort by Kendall Graveman on Saturday.

I admit that I’m not a baseball genius and I leave the game breakdowns to guys like Todd4State. I do like to look at stats and where we sit as those things give great insight to our season and where are headed.

First off, the SEC West standings:
LSU 13-2,
Arky 9-6
MSU 8-7
Bama 8-7
Om 7-8
A&M 7-8
Aub 5-10

Just looking at that quickly you have to be ok with where State is sitting. If we finfish like we are capable of I think 2nd is our spot and very well could get us the coveted regional host. LSU is on fire and looks almost invincible with their overall record of 34-3. Makes the fact that we outplayed them and lost the series tough, but encouraging at the same time. MSU has a chance to continue the momentum going forward with a series against Auburn on deck for Super Bulldog Weekend. Auburn is struggling right now and another sweep would be huge for the Dawgs.

“Mississippi State’s baseball team is 30-9, the program’s best record through 39 games since 1999.” Mike Nemeth (via twitter @MikeNemeth)

If you want to look ahead, we have a tough trip to Vandy after Auburn. Getting 1 in Nashville is almost a must and if we could figure out how to get that series, my wool growth will be thick. After Vandy we close out with 3 winnable series: Bama, at Ole Miss, and ending with South Carolina at home. There are 2 non-conference games sandwiched in there against Memphis on the 23rd and Oral Roberts on May 14th. The discussion becomes what record is required for us to host? I’m hoping for 11 more conference wins which would get us to 19-11. I’ve read others suggest that 18-12 would do the job as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Another thing that is a solid indicator of what type of season you are having is your team statistics and where you stack up in the league. These numbers are courtesy of Coach34 at EliteDawgs.com . I could have researched this myself but copy and paste was too easy.

Hitting:

Average- 3rd in the SEC
On-base percentage- 3rd in the SEC
Slugging- 4th in the SEC
Runs scored- 3rd in the SEC
RBI’s- 3rd in the SEC
Doubles- 4th in the SEC
HR’s – 3rd in the SEC
Walks-3rd in the SEC
Stolen bases- 4th in the SEC

Pitching:

ERA- 2nd in the SEC
Opp BA- 3rd in the SEC
Strike Outs- Leads SEC
Strike out Looking- Leads SEC
Saves- 2nd in the SEC
fewest Sac bunts allowed- tied for 2nd in the SEC
fewest Sac flies Allowed- tied for SEC lead
fewest hits allowed- 3rd in the SEC

All in all I don’t think anyone can complain about where MSU baseball is right now and the direction we are headed. At the beginning of the year the goal was to host a regional and that is very possible right now. The guys seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time. It will be fun to watch this play out.

Baseball related and worth 5 seconds of your time. Best foul ball catch EVER http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/232323.gif

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4-0 Start for Diamond Dawgs

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I will be the first to admit that I am not a baseball guru. I don’t pretend to be either. I patiently wait for Todd4State’s baseball pieces on Maroon and White Nation so I can improve my “90%er” baseball ignorance. That said, there might not be anything better than sunny skies and a good MSU squad competing at Dudy Noble Field. Basketball has been a nightmare this year so we have been waiting for this like a 5 year old waits on Christmas. What better way to start the year than a 4-0 sweep?

The Diamond Dawgs started the year with a combined 31-3 pounding of the Portland Pirates over the 4 game series. The opening game had a crowd of over 7,ooo and the attendance stayed strong all weekend despite the cold weather. We saw a good combination of hitting and dominant pitching to bring in the new year.

Let’s start with an overview of the pitching. In 36 innings our pitchers combined for 45 strikeouts and only gave up 20 hits. That is dominating. The wins were awarded to Kendall Graveman, Luis Pollorena, Ross Mitchell, and Jacob Lindgren. The only save of the weekend was awarded to Jonathan Holder. All in all a great performance by the whole pitching staff.
Our hitting also showed some bright spots this weekend particularly with the 16 run outburst in the opening game. Some notable batters were: Adam Frazier with 8 hits, CT Bradford with 5 hits, Trey Porter with 6 hits, Mitch Slaughter with 6 hits, and Darrly Norris with 4 hits on the weekend. The lone game we struggled was game 2 with only 2 runs but a key bunt showed that we can execute offensive plays in crunch time. With a total of 31 runs over 4 games I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the offensive production.

The biggest takeaways from opening weekend were that we were able to win a few different types of ways. Game 1 saw us with the big, dominating win. Game 2 saw us struggle but come through in the clutch. Game 3 and 4 showed our ability to grind out victories in consecutive days when dealing with early season fatigue was obvious. The one constant was great pitching throughout and that is what fans should be most excited about. This staff appears to be built for post season play with the quality depth and sheer number of quality arms out of the bullpen. MSU resumes action tonight at Dudy Noble against Grambling with an opening pitch scheduled for 4 pm.