June 11, 2013 9:51:29 AM
Matthew Stevens - [email protected]
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- For the ninth time in school history and first time under coach John Cohen, the Mississippi State University baseball team is going to the College World Series.
A 6-5 victory against No. 6 national seed University of Virginia in Game Two of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional on Monday helped MSU (48-18) secure its first appearance in Omaha, Neb., since 2007.
"I'm so proud of our guys," MSU coach John Cohen said after the victory. "I think the thing I'm most proud of with our guys is they all wanted to be in Omaha, but their goal is to try and win the whole thing. They don't see this as a job being finished. We're excited, but I think these kids still think we have some journey left to go here."
MSU survived two weather delays Sunday to build a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, when the second rain delay forced play to be stopped for more than an hour before the decision was made to suspend action. Seventeen hours later, the Bulldogs tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a lead-off double by Hunter Renfroe. The junior right fielder advanced to third base on an error by the right fielder. With one out, Virginia (50-12) intentionally walked Wes Rea before C.T. Bradford's single to right field made it 6-3.
MSU didn't waste any time getting its standout closer to the mound Monday, as Jonathan Holder pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and worked through two runs, two hits, and an error in the top of the ninth to get his 18th save. He retired Derek Fisher on a bouncer to third baseman Alex Detz with runners on second and third to end the game.
"We felt pretty good about our chances with Holder on the mound," MSU junior shortstop Adam Frazier said of the sophomore right-hander, who is a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American selection.
Frazier, a junior shortstop, went 8-for-11 with five RBIs and two runs scored in the two games in the super regional.
MSU hasn't won a game in Omaha, Neb., since Pat McMahon led a Bulldogs team to a 14-13 victory against the University of Florida in 1998.
MSU will face No. 3 national seed Oregon State University, which defeated Kansas State University 4-3 on Monday night, at 2 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in the first game of the eight-team, double-elimination College World Series.