To reach its fourth win of the season, Mississippi State needed a sudden death playoff to claim victory at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship.
The No. 28 ranked Bulldogs couldn't have ended the 2012-2013 regular season any other way, besides in exciting fashion. With the Blazers tying MSU on the final hole at 867, a sudden death playoff was used to decide the winner of the inaugural Old Waverly Collegiate Championship.
The 18th hole was the setting of the playoff, with MSU using its tourney lineup consisting of juniors Chad Ramey, Joe Sakulpolphaisan, Axel Boasson, Barrett Edens and senior Robi Calvesbert. Edens, Boasson, Calvesbert and Ramey all nailed putts to finish with par on the playoff hole to beat UAB, after two of the Blazers' golfers bogeyed.
"Our guys played with a lot of confidence, even though we didn't play our best this week," Coach Clay Homan said. "It was a struggle and a scrappy performance, which is good. I thought last week we played good, ball striking wise, but this week we were a little shaky. We did just enough and we have plenty of things we can work on. I am really proud of the resilience of this team and how hard they practice. The leadership on this team is the best I've ever had."
The 3-over-par, 867 earned MSU its fourth tournament win of the season, which is the most in school history. The Bulldogs are tied for first with the 1974-1975 squad for most event wins.
State finished the OWCC with four Bulldogs in the Top 15 after the final round.
Ramey finished sixth overall, giving the junior his seventh Top 10 of the season. The 1-under-par, 215 score at Old Waverly lowered his stroke average to 72.03 for the season. The Fulton, Miss., native ranks third all-time at MSU in that category.
Former SEC player of the week Boasson claimed his fourth Top 10 of the season at Old Waverly. The 1-over-par, 217 was good enough to tie for 10th place. Boasson's 72.07 average places him fourth all-time at MSU in stroke average for a season.
Sakulpolphaisan finished tied for 13th, after his 2-over-par, 218 tourney. The junior has 10 Top 25 cards this season in 11 attempts. The 72.67 average for Sakulpolphaisan ranks seventh all-time in school history for lowest stroke average in a season.
Senior Robi Calvesbert and junior Barrett Edens rounded out the Maroon and White scorecard from Old Waverly. Calvesbert shot a 2-over-par, 218 for the tourney to tie with teammate Sakulpolphaisan at 13th overall. Edens shot a 15-over-par, 231 to finish tied for 56.
Playing as individuals from Old Waverly was freshman Ben Wood and sophomore Fletcher Johnson. Wood finished tied for 44th with a 13-over-par, 229 and Johnson finished at 43-over-par, for a 77th place card.
With confidence riding high, the Bulldogs will now head to St. Simons Island, Ga., for the 2013 SEC Championship on April 19-21 held at the Sea Island Golf Course.
Fans can also follow the men's golf program through Facebook at facebook.com/mstateMG and on Twitter at @mstateMG.
Men's Track and Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - With consistent top performances, the Mississippi State men's track and field team remains in the No. 13 spot in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Computer Team Rankings released on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs have maintained their position in the nation's Top 15 by donning 10 Top 3 finishes in last weekend's Crimson Tide Invite in Tuscaloosa. The Maroon and White men captured three wins on the day, as Nathan Arnett clocked a 51.19 in the 400-meter hurdles to place him third on the school's all-time list.
With leadership from sprinters Daundre Barnaby and Tavaris Tate, as well as jumpers Marcus Jackson and Jason Harper, MSU seeks to continue climbing up the rankings as the season progresses.
"We are pleased to be recognized as one of the top programs in the country, but staying in the same position as last week's rankings gives us motivation to keep improving," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "It is the final ranking at the end of the season that really matters."
The Southeastern Conference boasts eight teams in the Top 25, with Texas A&M in the No. 1 spot. Arkansas and Florida follow the Aggies in second and third, respectively.
Dudley's squads hit the road again this weekend, traveling to Baton Rouge for the Battle on the Bayou on April 13.
Men's Track and Field
Freshman Mississippi State track and field standout Brandon McBride collected high honors Tuesday, as he claimed the Male Athlete of the Year title presented by the 8th Annual Windsor Essex County Sports Person of the Year awards.
Since 2006, The WESPYs have recognized top individual and team athletic performances from Windsor and Essex counties of Canada.
"It means so much to me because of all I went through last year," said McBride, who suffered two hamstring injuries prior to his start with the Bulldogs. "To still have a successful year, it shows anything is possible."
McBride was the top Canadian high school athlete in the 400- and 800-meter dashes while at W.F. Herman Secondary School in Windsor, Ontario. His personal-best performance in the 400-meter dash is 46.25 seconds, while his best 800-meter time is 1:46.07.
During the 2012 indoor track and field season, McBride displayed an unrivaled performance in the 800-meter run at the Meyo Invite in South Bend, Ind. His time of 1:47.74 seconds is the Canadian Indoor Junior National Record, as well as the No. 9 indoor time in the country for the season.
Just one of five MSU athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor National Championships this year, McBride was vital in helping his team to a 12th-place finish in the nation.
"In the past years, there have been so many great athletes who have won this award," McBride said. "I know how prestigious it is, so I'm very honored and happy to be presented with such an award."
While the young sprinter is only in his first year for the Maroon and White, his talents on the track exhibit those of a veteran. McBride is undoubtedly a valued asset to State's program.
"We are very blessed to have Brandon as a part our MSU family," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "His performances speak volumes on the type of athlete he is, but we are even more pleased about who he is as a person. He is a true leader, and I look forward to continue working closely with Brandon to keep him going even further in his track career."
After picking up two big top 20 victories this past weekend, the 11th-ranked Mississippi State men's tennis squad (15-7, 5-5 SEC) will hit the road for another top 20 matchup Wednesday, as the Bulldogs travel to Baton Rouge, La., to face the No. 20 LSU Tigers (13-9, 4-6 SEC). The SEC West showdown is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT at LSU's 'Dub' Robinson Tennis Stadium.
The two teams met earlier this season in the 2013 ITA Kickoff Weekend in Starkville, where the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 7-0. With that win, State won its third-straight meeting with the Tigers.
The combo of freshman Romain Bogaerts (20th nationally) and junior Malte Stropp (58th nationally) has been stellar atop the MSU singles lineup this season. Bogaerts, who has won his last four matches, has accumulated 15 dual match victories this spring, with six coming against ranked opponents. Stropp has put together a 13-4 record this spring, while knocking off four ranked foes.
The freshman-senior combo of Jordan Angus and James Chaudry has held strong in the middle of the MSU lineup for the 2013 season. Angus has put together 15 dual victories with only four losses, with three of those coming in tough matches against ranked opponents. Chaudry has won eight matches this spring, with seven coming at the No. 3 spot.
Rounding out the Bulldog lineup is junior Zach White and freshman Pedro Dumont. White, who pulled off a stellar comeback Sunday against Florida's Luke Johnson to propel the Bulldogs to a 4-3 victory against the No. 17 Gators, has won seven matches this spring. Dumont, who clinch the Bulldogs victory Sunday, has won his last four matches to make his total wins this spring at 11.
Also seeing considerable playing time this spring has been freshman Stefan Vinti, who has won four matches, with two at the No. 4 position and two at the No. 5 position.
In doubles, State is led by the 12th-ranked team of Angus and Stropp, who have put together eight wins for the dual match season, with five of those coming against top 45 foes. At the two spot has been the recently formed team of Bogaerts and White, who have won their last two matches, including a win against the No. 55 team of Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies of South Carolina last Friday.
The 20th-ranked Tigers, who have eight of their last 11 matches (four against top 25 foes and two in the top 10), are led by a pair of ranked singles players, as well as a pair of ranked doubles squads. Chris Simpson (No. 51) and Stefan Szacinski (No. 104) make up the Tigers' ranked singles players, while LSU holds the No. 52 duo of Simpson and Szacinski and the No. 65 duo of Szacinski and Tam Trinh.
For more information on Mississippi State men's tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).
The annual spring celebration known as Super Bulldog Weekend on the Mississippi State campus is set to begin Wednesday, April 17 and continue through Sunday, April 21. Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions Bank will include the SEC Women's Tennis Championship, a three-game baseball series beginning on Thursday, the annual Maroon-White Spring Football game and a host of other events.
The "spring homecoming" weekend begins with the SEC Women's Tennis Championship at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The tournament will continue with 13 matches over five days. The nationally-ranked Bulldog baseball squad will begin its series with Auburn at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a nationally-televised matchup on ESPNU. The annual pig cooking contest begins Friday with the Farm Bureau Sampling of the Grill taking place on Friday afternoon.
A loaded schedule on Saturday includes the Cotton District Arts Festival just off campus, soccer and volleyball hosting exhibitions, an open house of the Leo W. Seal Family Football Complex and the Mississippi State football team kicking off its spring game at 1 p.m.
Detailed schedules and more information can be found at the official online home of Super Bulldog Weekend - HailState.com/gameday.
A second consecutive complete-game pitching performance in league play has netted SEC Pitcher of the Week honors for Mississippi State senior right-hander Kendall Graveman.
Graveman (4-2, 1.99), from Alexander City, Ala., scattered five singles and faced four batters over the minimum in Mississippi State's series-clinching 2-0 Saturday shutout of Florida at Dudy Noble Field. Graveman walked two, struck out two and induced 19 groundball outs en route to his fifth career complete-game and fourth against an SEC foe. A week earlier Graveman registered a route-going pitching performance in a 4-1 win at No. 11 Arkansas, at one stretch retiring 21 consecutive batters.
The Bulldog co-captain has now tossed 19.0 consecutive scoreless innings against Florida.
It's the first conference player of the week honor for a Mississippi State player this season and the second such honor in two seasons for Graveman, who went the distance in a series-clinching 7-1 win against Tennessee during 2012 Super Bulldog Weekend.