TUCSON, Ariz. – A dominating performance from Jonathan Holder was the big storyline as Mississippi State knocked off Arizona 6-4 in a college baseball game played Sunday night at the Hi Corbett Classic.
After suffering a one-run defeat to California-Santa Barbara yesterday, MSU (12-7) bounced back to the win the final of its four tournament games in the three-day event.
Having not pitched since March 1 thanks to a blister, Jonathan Holder returned to the mound and showed his usual dominance. In a career-longest 5.2 innings of work, Holder (1-1) allowed five hits and two runs (both earned), with two strikeouts. Dakota Hudson drew the start for the Maroon and White but was lifted after allowing two runs in the first inning and two base runners in the second inning.
With Holder settling things down, the Bulldogs went to work on the offensive side. At the heart of the Bulldogs’ rally was C.T. Bradford who tripled twice Sunday and had an amazing four triples in the weekend tournament play.
With his team down 2-1, Bradford tripled to start the MSU fifth inning. Cody Brown followed with a walk. Derrick Armstrong followed with a groundball out. Zack Randolph lined a sacrifice fly to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
An inning later, Arizona’s only error of the game helped get things going. Wes Rea followed with a single and both he and Alex Detz were moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Brett Pirtle. Seth Heck lined an RBI-double and Bradford capped that inning with a sacrifice-fly.
Arizona (8-9) reached a tiring Holder for two runs in the seventh inning. However, MSU had another ace ready to go in the pen. A two-out, two-run single by Zach Gibbons brought the Wildcats within 5-4 and ended Holder’s night on the mound.
MSU turned things over to Jacob Lindgren who brought the win home. Lindgren worked around two hits and a walk to earn his second save of the season.
The Bulldogs plated a critical insurance score in the eighth inning when Wes Rea doubled and later scored on a ground ball out by Bradford.
MSU finished with eight hits, including multi-hit games by Rea, Randolph and Bradford.
Trent Gilbert had three of Arizona’s 10 hits. Gilbert finished with eight hits in two games against the Bulldogs. Willie Calhoun also had multi-hits. Starting pitcher Austin Schnabel (0-1) was lifted in the sixth inning and took the loss.
MSU returns home for a 6:30 p.m. start Tuesday against Southern Illinois (8-6) at Dudy Noble Field. Southeastern Conference play begins Friday at Georgia.