MSU’s Holder sharp in win over Arizona

Published 11:30 am Monday, March 10, 2014

Jonathan Holder

Jonathan Holder

Jonathan Holder held the line and kept Mississippi State from having a lost weekend in the desert.

The All-America closer threw 52⁄3 innings in middle relief Sunday — the longest outing of his career — and allowed two runs while striking out two to lead the Bulldogs to a 6-4 win over Arizona in the finale of the Hi Corbett Classic in Tucson, Ariz.

Mississippi State had lost the first three of its four games in the double round robin series with Arizona and UC Santa Barbara.

Arizona looked to make it a clean sweep Sunday night when it jumped out to a 2-0 lead on MSU starter Dakota Hudson in the first inning. Holder, who hadn’t pitched since March 1 because of a blister, came into the game after Hudson gave up a double and a walk to start the second. Holder worked out of that jam without giving up a run and held Arizona (8-9) in check long enough for MSU to get the lead. They scored twice in the fifth and twice more in the sixth to go up 5-1.

C.T. Bradford went 2-for-3 with two triples, two RBIs and two runs scored for Mississippi State (12-7). He tripled and scored a run in both the second and fifth innings, had a sacrifice fly in the sixth and drove in another run with a fielder’s choice in the eighth.

Wes Rea went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and Zack Randolph had two hits. Trent Gilbert went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for Arizona.

MSU reliever Jacob Lindgren came in when Holder ran into trouble in the seventh inning and didn’t allow a run over the last 21⁄3 innings to earn his second save of the season. Lindgren allowed two hits, one walk, and struck out six.

Mississippi State will return to Starkville for a non-conference game Tuesday against Southern Illinois, then begin Southeastern Conference play Friday with the opener of a three-game series at Georgia.