June 8, 2013


Frazier's 6 Hits Fuel Bulldogs

By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Adam Frazier has done a little of everything for Mississippi State the past three seasons. Although the junior shortstop and leadoff man makes the Bulldogs go in the field and at the plate, he’s been left off the all-Southeastern Conference teams the past two years.


“He’s our fire-starter in the lineup,” right fielder Hunter Renfroe said.


Added Bulldogs coach John Cohen: “When you get a chance to see him perform all three years, I think he’s special.”


Frazier turned heads and turned around pitches all day Saturday, going 6 for 6 with two doubles, a triple, two runs and three RBI as Mississippi State handled Virginia 11-6 in the first game of the Charlottesville Super Regional. Frazier’s six hits tied a school mark and helped the Bulldogs move within one win of reaching the College World Series for the first time since 2007.


“Not that I remember,” Frazier responded when asked if he’d ever had a six-hit game. “I think I had two five-hit games in high school.”


Frazier now has 100 hits on the season after entering the Super Regionals ninth in the nation in hits.


Frazier and Renfroe, who went 4 for 5 with a triple, two runs and three RBI, were in the middle of things all day for the Bulldogs (47-18). The duo combined to 10 of the MSU’s 20 hits – a season high against the Cavaliers (50-11) – four runs and six RBI. The Bulldogs scored in six of nine innings, including four innings of two or more.


Frazier, taken Friday in the sixth round of the Major League Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, singled and scored on Renfroe’s single, and Brett Pirtle added an RBI grounder for a 2-0 lead in the first. Frazier doubled in the second, then tripled in the third, scoring on Renfroe’s two-run triple as MSU led 7-4 after four innings.


In the fifth, Frazier singled in a run and lined a ball off the first-base-bag in the sixth for a two-run double. Just for kicks, he lined a single to left field in his final at-bat in the eighth inning to complete a 6-for-6 day and keep his torrid postseason pace: In nine postseason games, including the SEC Tournament and NCAA tourney, the left-handed hitting Frazier is 21 for 45 (.467).


“It was as good as an offensive approach as we’ve faced this year,” Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor said. “They were pretty relentless at the plate.”


O’Connor marveled at the way the Bulldogs changed their approach with two strikes, saying they did a good job of letting the ball get deep in the strike zone and fouling off pitches when they needed to until getting a better pitch to hit.


“They look like the kind of ball club that [is] not going to give outs away,” O’Connor said.


Still, Virginia gave Mississippi State some help. The Cavaliers, who entered as the sixth-best defensive team in the nation (.970 fielding percentage), made four errors that resulted in six unearned runs.


A big one came in the top of the third, when with one out and men on second and third, C.T. Bradford bunted back to starter Brandon Waddell (6-3) on a safety squeeze. Waddell fielded cleanly and looked to throw home to get Renfroe trying to score, but he dropped the ball as he went to throw.


“It’s part of the game,” said Waddell, who was touched for six hits and six runs (three earned) in 3.1 innings, his second-shortest start of the year. “I went to throw it and the ball slipped out of my hand.”


Another big one came in the sixth with the score 8-4. Trey Porter bounced a ball that got through Jared King at first, which could have been the third out of the inning. The next batter was Frazier, who bounced the ball off the bag at first, leaving King trying to bare-hand the ball as it bounced over his head and down the line for a 10-4 lead.


“We take pride in handling the ball better than we did today,” O’Connor said. “We know we can’t do those things this time of year.”


Kendall Graveman (7-5) battled through a three-run first and worked 5.1 innings with nine hits and six runs (four earned) before turning it over to Ross Mitchell, who induced three double plays in 3.2 scoreless innings. One came in the sixth, after Nate Irving and Mike Papi (1 for 4, solo HR, 2 RBI) plated runs and the Cavaliers had the bases loaded with one out down 10-6. King grounded a ball toward center, but Frazier ranged to his left, darted to the bag at second and threw on the run to get the Bulldogs out of the inning.


Demarcus Henderson went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, and Wes Rea contributed three hits for MSU. Brett Pirtle added two RBI and two sterling plays in the bottom of the ninth – the first a diving play to his left and on the second he ranged to his right, gloved the ball and threw a perfect strike to first on a jump-throw from behind the bag.


Nick Howard went 2 for 4 with two runs, and Reed Gragnani (2 for 4, run, RBI) and Joe McCarthy (2 for 2, three walks, run) added a pair of hits for the Cavaliers.




  • Bulldogs coach John Cohen thought having the Major League Draft out of the way was a good thing for his squad. He said during batting practice Friday, players were asking Adam Frazier if he’d heard anything yet. “Adam is a really cool customer, someone who’s really mature,” Cohen said. “I think he just played like a guy who was totally relaxed today.”

  • Virginia’s Derek Fisher went 0 for 4 with an RBI, but he just missed a homer when Demarcus Henderson leaped at the wall in the third, and he hit two other balls to the warning track.

  • Scott Silverstein (10-1) will start for Virginia Sunday evening, while Cohen did not name a starter.

  • Cohen was impressed with Virginia’s lineup, which had a homer (Mike Papi) and double (Jared King) in Kendall Graveman’s first four pitches. He had to confirm the pronunciation of Papi, then said, “That guy, we’ll all know his name soon,” adding that the Cavaliers’ leadoff man could be playing in the Major Leagues.

  • MSU players were asked about their comfort level at Davenport Field, and Hunter Renfroe made reference to that “big wall in center field,” the batter’s eye. He said that played a role in the Bulldogs seeing the ball well and suggested they may hit better back at Dudy Noble if Cohen and MSU added a big batter’s eye. Cohen joked, “So would the other team,” to which Renfroe quickly countered, “We outscored them today.”