SEC Tourney Champs! Truly a Team Effort

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MSU finished off Vanderbilt today, 3-0, to capture the SEC Tournament Championship! It was a great week of baseball.

This Mississippi State team is the true definition of team. It’s so great to watch them, especially since they are the opposite of this past year’s basketball team which frustrated us all beyond belief. They have taken on the personality of their coach, John Cohen; tough, gritty, scrapping for a win. Today’s game was a perfect example: score three runs on a wild pitch, walk with the bases loaded and a sacrifice fly..add in great pitching and it’s a solid win.

There is only one way for a team like State to win, and that’s to play as they have. When your star players are a pitcher (Chris Stratton) and a singles hitter (Adam Frazier), scrapping for every run is a necessity…especially when everyone else is below .300, and most below .250.

Frazier made his way to first base seemingly every time up in the tournament. Everyone else was hit or miss, but it seemed like everyone in the lineup came up big at least once..

Brent Brownlee successfully sacrifice bunted at least 300 times. Hunter Renfroe had a big assist vs. LSU the first time and a big RBI the second time. Trey Porter had an RBI, Mitch Slauter caught every single inning through six straight day games and came up with a few hits including a double vs. LSU which led to him scoring the winning run. DeMarcus Henderson drove in the go-ahead run vs. LSU and made a great catch in left field – he also got a base knock and came around to score one of the two runs vs. Kentucky. Wes Rea hit a moster 3-run shot vs. Arkansas, drive in Henderson vs. UK and played solid D. Sam Frost had a few hits and teamed with Frazier to turn a bunch of double plays. Norris came up with several hits including a key one during the 9th inning of Friday’s LSU game. Matthew Britton played great as a defensive replacement and of course had the game winning hit Friday. Pollorena, oh Pollorena!

All of this goes without saying how great the pitching was. It allowed the offense to only generate 13 runs in the last 5 games and still win 4 of them. Woodruff was great in game 1 and 6, Stratton in game 2, Graveman battled injury but did well in game 3. Spot starts for Lindgren and Pollorena were successful and the bullpen was absolutely incredible. Caleb Reed and Ben Bracewell combined for 11 1/3 and only gave up two runs. No runs given up by Ross Mitchell (9 2/3!), Nick Routt and of course Johnathon Holder who also picked up 4 saves…and Stratton had a save of his own today.

State isn’t just winning, they are beating some of the best teams in the nation. Coming off a sweep of #4 Kentucky, MSU beat #25 Arkansas, #2 LSU twice, #11 UK and Vanderbilt – a team who had won 9 in a row. We may not get to host a Regional but I am pumped to watch them play more ball! Hail State!