Woodruff Dominant In Fall Debut
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Black rallied from a four-run deficit to capture a 5-4 walk-off win against Gray Saturday afternoon in a six-inning exhibition at Dudy Noble Field in Mississippi State’s 14th scrimmage of the fall. The two teams wrap up the weekend with a rematch Sunday at noon. Admission is free.
Junior right-hander Brandon Woodruff started the game for Gray, throwing a perfect 1 2/3 innings. The Wheeler, Miss., native gave up no hits and struck out one batter, topping out at 96 mph on his fastball and hitting 82-83 consistently on his off-speed pitches. Redshirt sophomore Preston Brown followed Woodruff with his first relief outing of the fall, striking out three in 1.1 perfect innings of work. Fellow righties Wes Stokes (1.0 IP) and Brock Ward (0.2 IP) also had scoreless outing for the victors.
For Black, true freshman righty Austin Sexton recorded his best outing of the fall. The Huntsville, Ala., native did not yield a hit in four frames, striking out three and walking three in his fourth starting assignment of the fall.
On offense, team captain Wes Rea continued his hot-hitting ways with a two-RBI double. True freshman Dylan Ingram, who hit his first home run of the fall Friday night, came back Saturday with a two-RBI single, a walk and a run scored.
Deadlocked in a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth, Black took 2-0 lead courtesy of back-to-back sacrifice flies by senior Demarcus Henderson and junior transfer Seth Heck. The visitors doubled their lead in the next inning when Ingram singled up the middle and knocked in redshirt junior Zack Randolph and sophomore Kyle Hann.
Trailing by four in the bottom of the fifth frame, Gray tied the game with a four-run stanza. With the bases loaded, senior Brett Pirtle walked, pushing junior Cody Walker across the plate. Junior Matthew Britton then grounded out to first, scoring senior Derrick Armstrong. Down 4-2, Rea then launched a double to the gap in right, plating sophomore Jacob Robson and Pirtle.
With the exhibition lasting six innings, Gray entered the bottom of the sixth stanza looking for a walk-off. Freshman Gavin Collins drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman Cody Brown. With the winning run in scoring position, Walker singled to left field. The left fielder stormed in to field the ball, but booted it, allowing Collins to score the walk-off run from second.