Recapping No. 3 MSU’s 7-3 loss to Central Arkansas at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.
• The buzz: MSU (17-2) lost its second consecutive game and lost the series, as the Bears (14-2) got a complete game from Bryce Biggerstaff and continued to frustrated State’s pitchers.
• Big inning: It was 2-2 when UCA scored twice in the fourth. A hit-by-pitch, an error, a walk and another error led to one run, and then Forrestt Allday singled home a run with two outs.
• Key stats: MSU grounded into three double plays. … Bulldog pitchers hit five batters after plunking six Saturday. … UCA was 4 of 12 with runners in scoring position, while MSU was 2 of 4. … State committed two errors, leading to one unearned run, while the Bears were flawless in the field.
• MSU at the plate: MSU had eight hits. … Hunter Renfroe had two hits, including a solo home run in the ninth inning. … Leadoff hitter Adam Frazier was 0 of 4 with two strikeouts and hit into a double play in the eighth inning.
• UCA at the plate: The Bears had eight hits. … Michael Marietta had three hits, including a triple in the seventh and an RBI single in the ninth to make it 7-2. … Allday had two hits.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Kendall Graveman (1-1) went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits. He struck out seven, walked one and hit three batters on 98 pitches. … Chad Girodo tossed 1 1/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. … Freshman Myles Gentry, who got the win in relief Friday, threw one scoreless inning. … Closer Jonathan Holder was touched for three runs on two hits in the ninth, striking out one, walking one and hitting two batters.
• UCA on the mound: Biggerstaff (2-0) tossed his second complete game of the year, allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and a walk on 109 pitches.
• Quotable: “We took the swings that their pitcher wanted us to take. When you do that, you’re going to lose ballgames. We were not disciplined enough, forceful enough, stubborn enough to take our swing.” – MSU coach John Cohen
• Bottom line: A disciplined approach at the plate, crisp fielding and a strong outing by the starter are things MSU prides itself on, but UCA did all those things in superior fashion today. There are issues MSU will have to address this week as it prepares to open SEC play Friday versus LSU, but it’s way too soon to push the panic button. Veteran leadership and depth ought to get the Bulldogs back on track.