March 9, 2012

Bulldogs claim seventh straight win

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Despite missing four of their usual Friday starters, No. 23 Mississippi State still managed to find a way.

The Diamond Dogs downed Mercer 5-3 for their seventh straight victory and took game one of a three-game weekend set at Dudy Noble Field.

Usual Friday night pitcher Ben Bracewell missed the start due to soreness in his right elbow. Right fielder Brent Brownlee underwent knee surgery on Thursday and will miss six weeks while centerfielder C.T. Bradford will miss 1-2 weeks with a separated right shoulder. Third Baseman Daryl Norris is out 4-6 weeks with a dislocated right kneecap.

Still without those key components, MSU got the job done at the plate and on the mound to improve to 13-2 on the year.

"We spent four hours trying to convince our kids how good a club (Mercer) is," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "They are a good club. They don't come in here 11-3 by accident. I don't care what competition you're playing or at what level, if you're team is hitting .353 coming into a contest 14 games into a season you can hit."

The Bulldog bats were good for nine knocks on the night led by Demarcus Henderson, who was filling in for Brownlee in right field. Henderson went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

"It was a good, solid win," Henderson said. "We had a couple guys go down the other night so we had to have a couple guys step up and do some extra things. I was one of those guys who did a couple extra things. I put that on my shoulders to come out and do that."

Shortstop Adam Frazier was also 2-for-4 with a pair of singles while left fielder Hunter Renfroe added a double for State.

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