STARKVILLE, Miss. – True freshman first baseman Brent Rooker drove in four runs and fellow freshman right-hander Austin Sexton breezed through four innings of one-run ball as Black cruised to a 13-1 victory against Gray in Mississippi State’s 10th fall scrimmage Friday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The two teams return to the diamond Saturday for a noon rematch. Admission is free.
Sexton earned the starting nod in the seven-inning exhibition, sprinkling five hits over four frames and allowing just one run. Junior righty Will Cox replaced him and hurled two hitless stanzas, before junior right-hander Ben Hudpseth sealed the deal with a scoreless seventh inning of work.
At the dish, Rooker shined brightest with four RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored. Sophomore infielder Kyle Hann also filled up the box score with a pair of hits, runs and RBIs, in addition to a double and a walk. Junior Matthew Britton (2 RBIs, 2 runs) and redshirt freshman Cody Brown (1 RBI, 1 run) also had two hits each.
For Gray, freshman Joey Swinarski went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, while senior Brett Pirtle went 1-for-2 with an RBI single.
Pirtle’s RBI single came in the top half of the first inning, which he knocked in junior transfer Seth Heck, who had reached base via a one-out double down the left field line.
Trailing by one, Black began its offensive onslaught with a four-run first inning. Leadoff hitter Derrick Armstrong was plunked by a pitch and jogged to second when senior CT Bradford drew a base on balls. Hann then connected on an RBI single to the gap in left, before senior Alex Detz loaded the bases with another walk. With the sacks stuffed, redshirt freshman Daniel Garner pinched an RBI single to right field, scoring Bradford. The final two runs of the first inning came with a base knock up the middle by Britton.
Black tackled on one more in the second when Armstrong doubled off the wall in left and Hann traded places with him at the dish courtesy of a double of his own.
Leading, 5-1 going into the third, the home team put it away for good with a four-run inning. Following Britton walking and junior Cody Walker reaching base via an error, Brown doubled to the wall in right. Next, Rooker cleared the bases with a two-bagger down the line in left for two RBIs. After freshman Dylan Ingram was plunked, he scored on a throwing error to first base on an Armstrong grounder.
Black’s last big inning came in the fifth when Rooker hit another two-RBI double down the left field line and Ingram knocked him in with an RBI single.
The final run of the game came when Hann led off with a walk and senior Alex Detz pushed him across the plate with an RBI double.