Mississippi State newcomers Trey Porter and Mitch Slauter delivered a pair of timely hits helping lead a series-clinching 5-4 win in game two of the Sunday doubleheader.
The Bulldogs were down by a run in the sixth inning when Porter, the MSU walk-on, drove a pitch over the right field wall for his second home run of the day to tie the game at 2-2.
“Honestly, I really didn’t see it,” said Porter. “I just kind of swung. I know that sounds awful so don’t tell our hitting coach that. I just saw it was up and he wasn’t a high velo guy so I swung.”
Two innings later, Washington State added a pair of runs in the eighth leaving State with precious little time to recover from the two-run deficit. Adam Frazier opened the inning with a leadoff walk followed by a double down the right field line by Brent Brownlee setting table for the day’s heroes to shine.
Porter stepped to the plate and skied a ball to center deep enough to score Frazier from third, closing the gap to a single run at 4-3. Slauter tied the game at four with a double to centerfield allowing Brownlee to score from second.
“Trey is a good player,” said MSU head coach John Cohen. “He’s a tough kid that gets all over the plate and is very difficult to pitch to. It didn’t take us long during intrasquad that he’s a really hard guy to throw strikes to. He makes the most of his opportunities.”
MSU center fielder C.T. Bradford followed with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a WSU throwing error that allowed Slauter to score the game-winning run at 5-4.
Taylor Stark was on to pitch the ninth for the Bulldogs after coming on with one out in the eighth. He powered through the Cougar lineup, striking out a pair to preserve the MSU victory.
However, the win wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the solid pitching performance from junior Kendall Graveman. The 6-foot-1 right-hander zipped through the first two innings setting the side down in order before getting into a trouble in the third inning where he walked and hit a batter allowing the Cougars to score their first runs on the ballgame.
“I thought Kendall was outstanding,” said Cohen. “If you take away the guy he walks and the hit batter, those are the two runs and they dump that floater into left field. Without those two sequences, he’s going to pitch a shutout through six and really so efficient with movement. We’re really excited about him.”
Graveman went six and a third allowing two runs on just three hits while striking out four and walking just a single batter.
At the plate, Mississippi State paced by Bradford who went 3-for-4 after being bumped down the lineup into the fifth spot. While the Bulldogs did manage 10 hits, Bradford was the only player with a multi-hit outing.
Mississippi State has the midweek off before hosting Mississippi Valley State and the University of Kansas this weekend in a round robin event at Dudy Noble Field.