Gray squad sweeps weekend scrimmages

Senior outfielder Derrick Armstrong

Senior outfielder Derrick Armstrong

Mississippi State held its first three practices of the fall over the weekend and conducted intersquad scrimmages after each.

Here is a recap of the Diamond Dogs results from the Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions from Kyle Nibblett of the MSU athletic department.

Friday – Gray 8, Black 6

Mississippi State junior outfielder Derrick Armstrong ripped a three-run triple down the line in left to give Gray an 8-6 win vs. Black in the first scrimmage of the 2013-14 season at Dudy Noble Friday night. An estimated 350 fans attended the five-inning scrimmage.

Following a solo home run by the Black’s Wes Rea in the top of the first, the Gray team responded with a round tripper of its own by junior transfer Seth Heck. Redshirt freshman Daniel Garner gave Black the lead again with a three-run homer in the third, and fellow redshirt freshman Cody Brown extended the margin five with a bases-clearing two-run double in the fourth.

Trailing 6-1 in the second-to-last frame, junior transfer Jake Vickerson earned a bases-loaded walk to cut the deficit to four. Senior outfielder Demarcus Henderson then drove in a run with a grounder to third, before moving to third on an RBI single up the middle by fellow senior Alex Detz. After a walk by sophomore Kyle Hann to put a Bulldog on each bag,Armstrong roped a game-wininng three bagger down the line in left to put Gray ahead, 7-6. Redshirt junior Zack Randolph finished off the scoring by pushing Armstrong across the dish with a hit.

All-American closer Jonathan Holder tossed a hitless inning to close the game. Junior right-hander Will Cox also had a strong outing, striking out a trio of batters in 1.2 innings of work.

Saturday – Gray 4, Black 2

Reid Humphreys cranked out a game-winning two-run double to left and Gray held on to defeat Black by a score of 4-2 in the second Mississippi State intrasquad fall scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble field. An estimated 400 fans attended the five-inning exhibition.

For the second-consecutive day, Garner (2-for-2) hit a home run to left, giving Gray an early 1-0 lead. True freshman Joey Swinarski (0-for-1) added to it with an RBI groundout in the third, before Humphreys (2-for-3) connected with a barrel for a bases-clearing two bagger in the fifth.

Black battled back in the last frame, starting with a double by freshman Dylan Ingram (1-for-2). The Pike Road, Ala., native scored on a base hit up the middle by Henderson (1-for-2). Henderson then made it home on a hard-hit double down the right-field line by Detz (2-for-3).

On the mound, freshman right-handed starter Austin Sexton had an impressive debut at Dudy Noble Field, finishing with 2.1 scoreless innings for Gray. Fellow freshmen Jacob Billingsley (1.2 IP) and Levi Mintz (1.0 IP) surrendered a run each to Black.

For Black, freshman left-handed starter Vance Tatum gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in his first two collegiate innings, before giving way to sophomore John Marc Shelley. Shelly pitched 2.1 frames, yielding two runs on three hits. True freshman lefty Glen Irby finished out the day for Black with two strikeouts in two batters faced.

Sunday – Gray 3, Black 0

True freshman RHP Dakota Hudson struck out five batters in the first two innings and Gray cruised to a 3-0 shutout victory vs. Black in Mississippi State baseball’s third five-inning scrimmage of the fall Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The Diamond Dawgs will host their fourth scrimmage this Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. at the “Carnegie Hall of College Baseball.”

Hudson threw 2.1 hitless innings to start the game, striking out five and walking a pair. The middle relief trio of sophomore right-hander Myles Gentry, Irby and Cox tossed 2.2 scoreless frames, while Holder pitched a scoreless fifth to end the game.

Gray scored its first run of the game after Vickerson doubled in the first inning and was driven in by Detz. With his older brother Nick in the crowd, Vickerson finished Sunday 1-for-1 with two runs, two walks, a double and a stolen base.

The final two runs of the weekend came in the second, when Detz tallied his second RBI of the day with a single to right, scoring Armstrong. One batter later, Rea doubled off the wall in left, knocking in Vickerson.

For Black, senior C.T. Bradford, junior transfer Cody Walker and Ingram each went 1-for-2. On the mound for the home team, the combo of redshirt freshman RHP Tony Anello, junior southpaw Jacob Lindgren and righty Wes Stokes threw two scoreless innings to end the game.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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