SEC BASEBALL:

UA stopped on 99 pitches

By: RICK HARVEY SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Arkansas pitcher Ryne Stanek fires a pitch in the first inning of Saturday afternoon's game against Mississippi State at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Michael Woods
Arkansas pitcher Ryne Stanek fires a pitch in the first inning of Saturday afternoon's game against Mississippi State at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas had no answer for Mississippi State senior right hander Kendall Graveman.

Graveman threw his fourth-career complete game, Mississippi State’s first of the season, and the Bulldogs beat Arkansas 4-1 on Saturday at Baum Stadium.

The victory ended Arkansas’ six-game winning streak and evens the SEC series at 1-1. Game three is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. today.

Graveman threw 99 pitches, didn’t allow a walk, gave up 5 hits and struck out 5. He yielded a run on two hits in the first, then retired 21 consecutive until the Razorbacks (20-8, 5-3 SEC) had two hits in the ninth.

“My two-seam was working, the change-up was working, and toward the end I started throwing a little slider because I hadn’t shown that,” said Graveman (3-2). “Once I started going with that they had some off-balance swings, so I think it worked pretty well.”

Dave Van Horn - Mississippi State Postgme

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn recaps the Razorbacks' 4-1 loss to Mississippi State Saturday at Baum Stadium. (By Matt Jones)
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Eighteen of Arkansas’ 27 outs came on ground balls.

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said Graveman relied on his sinking fastball while mixing in his change-up against lefties.

“He really didn’t give us a chance,” Van Horn said.

Arkansas’ only success against Graveman came in the first and final at-bats. The Razorbacks scored a run off a double from Tyler Spoon and a single from Brian Anderson to take a 1-0 lead.

The Razorbacks got one out singles from Spoon and Anderson in the ninth before Graveman got Matt Vinson to ground out on a dribbler to first. Graveman ended the game by striking out Dominic Ficociello on three changeups.

“It was frustrating. In the ninth we had two on and the five- and six-hole hitters coming up,” Van Horn said. “… So that was disappointing we didn’t punch in a run and put up a little rally there and string together a couple of hits back to back.”

Mississippi State (23-7, 3-5) took the lead off Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek (2-2) in a two-run fourth, highlighted by a Razorbacks error and singles from Hunter Renfroe and Wes Rea.

The Bulldogs added a run when Adam Frazier doubled and Alex Detz singled him in the fifth to make it 3-1 and then used a single from Sam Frost and a sacrifice fly from Frazier to lead 4-1.

The Bulldogs relied on Graveman from that point on.

“You expect that kind of performance from a senior who has done this before,” Mississippi State Coach John Cohen said of Graveman. “He did a great job against a really aggressive Arkansas team that was really on a roll.

“He only threw 99 pitches. That’s ridiculous. … He did a good job of working both sides of the plate. He got a ton of ground balls and that’s what he does. We needed that today.”

Renfroe went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. The Bulldogs had their 15th error-free game.

“Everybody on the infield made a special play today,” Cohen said. “We pitched, played good defense, and offensively, had just enough to win.”

Michael Gunn relieved Stanek in the fifth and pitched one-third of an inning. Brandon Moore came in the fifth and went two-thirds of an inning, Tyler Wright pitched the sixth and Chris Oliver worked the final three innings for the Razorbacks, striking out three.

“He was good,” Spoon said of Graveman. “We weren’t good.”Today’s game ARKANSAS VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE WHEN 1:05 p.m.

WHERE Baum Stadium, Fayetteville RECORDS Arkansas 20-8, 5-3 SEC; Mississippi State 23-7, 3-5 INTERNET www.arkansasrazorbacks.comSATURDAY’S GAMES Florida 7, Ole Miss 0 South Carolina 6, Texas A&M 3 Georgia 7, Kentucky 6 LSU 8, Missouri 0 Mississippi State 4, Arkansas 1 Alabama 2, Auburn 0 Vanderbilt 8, Tennessee 3 TODAY’S GAMES All times Central Georgia at Kentucky, noon Ole Miss at Florida, noon LSU at Missouri, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.

Mississippi State at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.

Sports, Pages 25 on 03/31/2013

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