March 11, 2012

Dogs take the series behind Graveman

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mercer entered Sunday's game hitting .347 with 26 home runs and averaging 8.6 runs per game.

But Mississippi State junior right-hander Kendall Graveman was able to stifle the Bears hot bats allowing just three hits over 8 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts in a 3-1 victory to close out at 17-game homestand.

"Every time I go out there I try to go to the ninth inning as much as I can," Graveman said. "I'd like to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity. The players that played behind me did a great job today and Mitch Slauter did a great job behind the plate. I just felt like I was in tempo. In about the third or fourth inning I got rolling and could tell I could go into the ninth inning if we needed it."

Graveman picked up the win in his first decision of the season allowing just one run helping the 23rd ranked Bulldogs improve to 14-3 overall. It was the longest start of Graveman's career and a career-best eight punchouts.

"Obviously Kendall Graveman was an important part of the day," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "We needed somebody to carry the heavy lifting today and that's exactly what he did. That's a very good offensive ballclub over there and he just neutralized them."

All-American closer Caleb Reed came on to record the final two outs of the contest and record his fifth save.

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