STARKVILLE, Miss. – With more than 1,000 Mississippi State baseball fans in attendance, the Maroon and White squads battled to a 2-2 tie Saturday afternoon on a sunshine-filled day at Dudy Noble Field. The seven-inning intrasquad scrimmage was played immediately following MSU’s annual First Pitch Banquet, which featured three-time Major League Baseball All-Star Roy Oswalt and drew an announced crowd of 1,018.
The starting tandem of redshirt sophomore right-hander Preston Brown and junior righty Trevor Fitts provided an early pitchers’ duel for the fans. Brown sprinkled four hits over three scoreless innings, striking out one and issuing one walk. Fitts surrendered just one run in four innings on the bump, striking out three, walking two and yielding four hits.
White plated the game’s first run in the top of the first, which started when senior outfielder C.T. Bradford drilled a first-pitch fastball up the middle for a single. Redshirt junior first baseman Wes Rea doubled down the line in left to put two in scoring position before a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Brett Pirtle pushed Bradford across the dish.
The visitors added to their lead in the top of the fifth. Redshirt freshman Cody Brown led off with a hard-hit single to left and then ran to second on a wild pitch. Following a walk to freshman outfielder Joey Swinarski, both men advanced a base on a groundout by Bradford. With two in scoring position, senior third baseman Alex Detz drove in Brown with a base knock through the right side of the infield.
Maroon finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth frame thanks to a two-out RBI single up the middle by senior outfielder Derrick Armstrong, scoring freshman first baseman Brent Rooker. Freshman third baseman Reid Humphreys tied the game for the home team in the sixth on a two-out RBI single to right by sophomore infielder Kyle Hann.
All-American closer Jonathan Holder ended the game by retiring the side in order, including two strikeouts.
The Bulldogs begin their 124th season with a 4 p.m. first pitch against Hofstra on Friday, Feb. 14. For more information on the event, follow the team on social media by searching for “HailStateBB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.