The Mississippi State baseball hasn't had to climb a mountain in the early going of the 2013 season.
Saturday night the Bulldogs found themselves down three runs in the middle of the ballgame, but found a way to win down the stretch.
"There is going to be plenty of times the rest of the season that we're down," MSU junior center fielder C.T. Bradford said. "It's just a matter of how we handle that and we did a great job (Saturday)."
The Bulldogs (8-0) knocked off Purdue (3-4) 7-6 in comeback fashion in the second game of Saturday's Diamond Classic presented by Polk's Meat Products.
"I'm really proud of our club," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We fell behind early in this ballgame and found a way to get back in the middle of this. Kids didn't stop competing even though we did some things that are uncharacteristic."
The Bulldogs committed four errors in the game, but overcame the miscues to claim the victory.
"This game was a little ugly for us in some ways, but it's a character builder in some ways," Cohen said.
"Good teams can play poorly at times, still find a way to win and I think that's what happened (Saturday)."
The Bulldogs found themselves down 5-2 going to the bottom of the fifth inning. They started chipping away.
MSU junior shortstop Adam Frazier led off the inning with a single to left field. He scored on Trey Porter's fielder's choice. Tyler Fullerton came into pinch run for Porter. He scored on a RBI single by Alex Detz to make it 5-4.
The Bulldogs added three more in the sixth inning highlighted by Hunter Renfroe's two-run triple to deep right field to make it 7-5.
"Our offense came to play (Saturday) I thought," Renfroe said. "We hit the ball really well."
MSU scored with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Daryl Norris doubled down the left field line to score Detz and freshman Jacob Robson.
Purdue scored four runs four runs in the top of the fourth inning thanks to two Bulldog errors.
They added one more on Kyle Wood's solo home run to right field to take a 5-2 lead.
MSU sophomore right hander Jonathan Holder came into pitch the ninth inning. He ran into some trouble.
Holder gave up his first hit of the season to leadoff batter and pinch hitter Michael Mullen.
He got the next two batters, a Kyle Hann threw the possible last out into right field allowing Mullen to score.
Holder got Wood to ground to him for the final out and his third save of the season. He is now tied for 10th all time at Mississippi State with 12 saves. He is tied with Mike Martin, Jon Harden and Caleb Reed.
MSU starter Kendall Graveman pitched 3.1 innings. He gave up four runs on six hits. He walked one batter and struck out another in the no decision.
"Kendall did not have the stuff he is going to normally have," Cohen said. "He's coming along slowly after his surgery."
MSU senior left hander Chad Girodo (1-0) was credited with the win. He pitched 1.1 innings. He gave up no runs, no hits and struck out two batters.
Brett Andrzejewski (0-1) took the loss for the Boilermakers. He pitched 0.2 of an inning. He gave up two runs on three hits.
Purdue was led offensively by Josh Estill's three hits.
The Bulldogs got three hits from Renfroe. They got two hits from both Bradford and Norris.
"That was an awesome win," Bradford said. "It's awesome. (It was a) team effort and we did a great job."
Mississippi State 8,
The Bulldogs opened the day with a revenge win over the Samford Bulldogs.
Samford beat Mississippi State twice last year in the Tallahassee Regional to end MSU's season.
"We came out here (Saturday) with just wanting to put it on them," Bulldog redshirt sophomore left hander Ross Mitchell said. "They really disappointed us last year. We threw our best against them and they still beat us. We wanted to attack them early and we were able to do that."
Ross Mitchell (2-0) came in relief of junior right hander Evan Mitchell to get the win.
"Ross just pitched outstanding," Cohen said. "Our guys in inner squads don't like facing Ross Mitchell at 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon dealing with all the shadows and things of that nature."
Ross pitched six innings in relief. He gave up one run on four hits. He struck out four batters and only walked one.
Ross retired 11 batters in a row at one point.
"Just wanted to go outside on them pretty much and then I'd go in late," Ross Mitchell said. "They were hitting ground balls and we were making plays. I was able to get under their bats."
Evan Mitchell pitched the first three innings. He gave up one run on no hits.
The Bulldogs got things going with three runs in both the first and second innings.
Hunter Renfroe hit his second home run of the weekend to deep left field in the fourth inning to give MSU a 7-1 lead.
"He left it up," Renfroe said. "That's what I was waiting on. I was ready for something dying over the plate and that's what he left me, a fastball and I hit it really hard."
They added one more in the seventh inning.
Samford's C.K. Irby (1-1) pitched two innings and gave up six runs on seven hits to get the loss.
MSU was led offensively with Adam Frazier who had three hits.
Samford (4-2) plays Purdue at 11 a.m. today. Mississippi State takes on Samford at around 2 p.m.
MSU will either go with sophomore right hander Will Cox or sophomore righty Trevor Fitts today on the mound.