CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —
Adam Frazier didn’t want to go into Mississippi State’s super regional against Virginia wondering where he’d be drafted.
The Pittsburgh Pirates took care of that on Friday, taking Frazier in the sixth round with the 179th overall selection, and a relieved Frazier gave Pirates fans a show on Saturday in leading the Bulldogs to an 11-6 victory against the Cavaliers.
“Any time you get some stuff off your mind and some pressure off of you, it’s always more relaxing,” Frazier said after going 6-for-6 with three singles, two doubles, a triple and three runs batted in to pace the Bulldogs’ 20-hit attack.
Frazier said it was the first six-hit game he could remember, even thinking back to Little League.
Hunter Renfroe, the No. 13 overall pick by the San Diego Padres, went 4-for-5, also with three RBIs.
“I think we’re seeing the ball great right now, laying off bad pitches, not striking out a lot,” Renfroe said.
The Bulldogs (47-18) sure looked it, pounded Virginia pitching and scoring in six innings. They also benefited from uncharacteristic sloppiness by the Cavaliers, who made four errors that led to six unearned runs.
“We’ve just got to be better tomorrow,” coach Brian O’Connor said. “We’ve got to be better at executing our pitches. We’ve got to be better at handling the ball, the things we’ve done all year.”
Virginia (50-11) had 11 hits, but also hit into four rally-killing double plays.
“We just lacked that clutch hit today,” shortstop Nick Howard, who was 2-for-4, said.
Kendall Graveman (7-5) went 5 1-3 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing nine hits and all six runs, just four of them earned. He struck out three and walked two. Ross Mitchell finished, allowing just two hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.
Staked quickly to a 2-0 lead, Graveman gave up three runs in the bottom of the first, but saw the Bulldogs come back with two more in the fourth and three in the fifth as the hits just kept falling. Wes Rea and Demarcus Henderson each added three hits for Mississippi State, and five players scored two runs each.
“For our guys to come back and tie it and for us to go ahead was big for me,” Graveman said. “It made me relax again.”
Mississippi State turned double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, all behind Mitchell.
“He pitched himself into trouble and then he pitched himself out of it,” O’Connor said of the soft-tossing lefthander, who came into the game with a 12-0 record and a 1.41 earned run average in 30 relief appearances.
Brandon Waddell (6-3) lasted just 3 1-3 for the Cavaliers, allowing six hits and six runs, three earned. The Cavaliers, whose dominant pitching and nearly flawless defense carried them to a sweep in the regional round, used five pitchers, all freshmen, and gave up a season high for hits.