Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe (34) returned from injury to play against Saint Joseph's on Sunday. (Photos by Kim Murrell, SDN)
It has become an almost automatic for the Mississippi State baseball team to walk off the field with a victory in the early stages of the 2013 season.
It happened twice on Sunday.
The Bulldogs knocked off Saint Joseph's 2-0 in the second game of a doubleheader to sweep the twinbill and the four-game series at Dudy Noble Field.Â
"We get two (wins Sunday)," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We're proud of the kids. This is a lot better conditions, but you're battling 18 innings and that's where conditioning and really being locked in for a long period of time is good."
The Bulldogs (15-0) stretched its home winning streak to 18 dating back to a three-game sweep of Kentucky a season ago.Â
The 15-0 start is the best for MSU since starting 18-0 in 2006.
MSU got a good showing from its bullpen in the second game after starting pitcher sophomore right hander Will Cox went five innings.
"I thought our bullpen was just magnificent," Cohen said.
The Bulldogs got 0.2 of an inning from Preston Brown, 1.1 innings from Chad Girodo and one inning from both Myles Gentry and Jonathan Holder.
Cox was pulled in the sixth inning when he gave up two hits to start the inning. Gentry came in for the second time, as he pitched in game one, and did his job.
Gentry recorded two strikeouts.
"You had to pitch and hit your spots because if you don't make the pitch, they are going to get hits," Gentry said. "(It's) just execute."
The Bulldogs brought in Girodo who struck out the only guy he faced in the inning to get MSU out of a first and second jam.
Cox (2-0) was credited with the win in a five-inning outing. He gave up four hits and no runs. He only walked one batter and struck out another six.
Holder recorded his fifth save of the season by striking out the side in the ninth inning. It is 14th career save and ties him with Aaron Weatherford for eighth all-time in school history.Â
MSU only managed five hits to Saint Joseph's six, but it didn't matter.
The Bulldogs scored their two runs in the third inning without the benefit of a hit. Senior infielder Sam Frost was hit with a pitch to start the inning. He later stole second and scored on an error by the third baseman.Â
Senior shortstop Adam Frazier reached on a fielder's choice and later scored on a passed ball.
"That's the type of team we have," MSU junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe said. "We have multiple guys who come up there and hit the ball. We don't miss a beat."
Saint Joseph's Daniel Thorpe (0-2) was credited with the loss in his six innings of work. He gave up two runs on four hits. He only walked one batter and struck out five.
The Hawks got two hits from Greg Kumpel.
Alex Detz led the Bulldogs with two hits in the second game.Â
Mississippi State 3,
Saint Joseph's 2
Detz continued his hot hitting as he led MSU with three hits and drove home two runs to give MSU the edge in game one against the Hawks.
"He's a very good hitter," Cohen said. "He's done a nice job with the zone, he's done a nice job with two strikes and he's done a very nice job defending at first base."
The junior college transfer finished the day with five hits and he is batting .611 with 11 hits and nine RBI in his last six games.
The Bulldogs also got back Hunter Renfroe who had not played since last Saturday after getting hit by a pitch injuring his hand. He finished the first game with two hits and a RBI.
"(It's) a little bit sore right now but that's to be expected after playing two games," Renfroe said. "It feels pretty good."
MSU took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning. Junior outfielder C.T. Bradford doubled and was driven home when Detz singled to right field.
The Hawks took a 2-1 lead after scoring one in the fourth inning and one in the sixth inning.
That lead didn't last very long.
Bradford led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He stole second base and advanced to third when the catcher tried to throw him out but threw it into center field.
He scored when Detz singled to left field to make it 2-2. Detz crossed the plate on Renfroe's single to right field.
"I can't sit on the bench the whole time," Renfroe said. "I'm kind of a hyper guy. I can't just sit there. I'm walking up and down the dugout the whole time."
The Bulldogs got a solid outing from Kendall Graveman. Graveman pitched 5.1 innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked a batter and struck out another.
Senior lefty Luis Pollorena (2-0) pitched one inning in relief to pick up the win. Myles Gentry pitched 1.2 to bridge the gap to the ninth inning.
"It's awesome just getting out there," Gentry said. "My job is to just get ground balls. Give all the credit to my defense with making it happen with double plays."
MSU junior right hander Ben Bracewell recorded his first save since his freshman campaign.
Kyle Mullen (1-2) took the loss for Saint Joseph's. The Hawks got two hits from Chris Hueth and John Brue.
MSU was led by Detz's three hits. Bradford and Renfroe each had two.
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The Bulldogs are back in action Tuesday when they host Mississippi Valley State at 6:30 p.m.