STARKVILLE – Gray jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory against Maroon Thursday night in Mississippi State’s 10th scrimmage of the fall. The exhibition at Dudy Noble Field lasted five innings.
“We are playing one-run ballgames which is really good,” head coach John Cohen said. “I think it is so important in the fall for us to have the opportunity for every run to matter.”
Collecting hits for Gray were sophomore catcher Gavin Collins (1-for-1, RBI), freshman Cole Gordon (1-for-2, double), freshman Ryan Gridley (1-for-1, run, stolen base) and redshirt senior Zack Randolph (1-for-1, RBI). Senior outfielder Jake Vickerson scored a run and reached base twice via a walk and a hit by pitch.
“Our more physical guys are starting to consistently take some pretty good swings during the course of the game,” Cohen explained. “I feel like some really neat things are happening for us situationally and we’re having to pitch through some things.”
On the mound, junior right hander Myles Gentry earned the start for Gray, pitching 2.1 hitless innings with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. The first-year duo of righty Aaron Dominguez and Andrew Mahoney combined to pitch the next 1.2 stanzas, before redshirt freshman Jacob Billingsley tossed a scoreless fifth.
Following three innings by Maroon starter Daniel Brown, sophomore righty Dakota Hudson pitched a shutout inning in the bottom of the fourth.
Gray began the scoring in the bottom of the first, which started with a leadoff walk by Vickerson. The speedster sprinted from first to third on a single to left by Collins, before scoring on a ground ball by redshirt sophomore Cody Brown.
The home team made it 3-0 in the third when Gridley tapped the dish on a two-strike single to right by Randolph, followed by a sacrifice fly to right by Collins which scored senior catcher Cody Walker.
Maroon barked back in the fourth thanks to a spark by junior transfer Michael Smith. Following a leadoff single, Smith stole second and moved to third on a groundout. The newcomer eventually scored on a grounder by redshirt freshman Brent Rooker . The last run of the game for the visitors came on an RBI single up the middle by junior transfer Matt Spruill.
“John Holland made some really good plays defensively,” Cohen added. “I thought Josh Lovelady continued to do a really nice job behind the plate for us.”
State’s next free open scrimmage at Dudy Noble Field is slated for 2 p.m. CT Saturday.
(From MSU Media Relations)