STARKVILLE – Senior All-SEC left-handed pitcher Ross Mitchell faced one batter over the minimum, leading Gray to a dominating 10-0 victory against Maroon Friday night in Game One of the Mississippi State baseball Bulldog World Series. The five-inning exhibition took place at Dudy Noble Field.
Throwing in 36-degree weather, Mitchell froze hitters with two strikeouts and dazzling command in the complete-game victory. The third-inning infield single by Maroon’s Michael Smith was Mitchell’s only base runner allowed.
Mitchell was supported by an offense which saw four different players drive in multiple runs and eight different players score at least once. Senior catcher Zack Randolph led the way, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Also collecting two RBIs were senior outfielder Jake Vickerson (2 RBIs, 2 walks, run), redshirt freshman outfielder Brent Rooker (1-for-3, 2 RBIs, run, double) and redshirt freshman first baseman Dylan Ingram (1-for-3, 2 RBIs, run). Redshirt sophomore Jacob Robson (1-for-2) and junior catcher Josh Lovelady both walked twice and scored a pair of runs.
After a scoreless first, Gray broke the game open with a six spot in the top of the second. The inning started when senior first baseman Wes Rea (1-for-2) rifled a second-pitch fastball to right for a single. Randolph and junior infielder Matt Spruill (1-for-3, run) followed up with singles of their own to load the bases, before a base hit to right by Ingram scored Rooker (pinch runner) and Randolph. Lovelady then drew a walk.
With the bases juiced, Spruill tapped the dish on a sacrifice fly by freshman infielder Ryan Gridley (1-for-1). Robson and Vickerson then put together consecutive walks, scoring Ingram. A double down the line in left by Rooker scored Lovelady and Robson.
The final out in the top of the second came on a strikeout by Maroon right-hander Levi Mintz (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R). Mitchell then returned to the bump with a newfound 6-0 lead, retiring the side in order with a seven-pitch inning. Mintz and Mitchell proceeded to toss a scoreless third inning, highlighted by Smith’s infield single for Maroon.
Up 6-0 after three, Gray hammered the stake in Maroon’s heart with a four-run fourth inning. Lovelady reached on a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single to center by Gridley. Lovelady then scored on back-to-back base on balls courtesy of Robson and Vickerson. With the bases full, Rea drove in Gridley on an RBI groundout, before Randolph pushed Robson and Vickerson across the plate with a two-RBI single.
Looking up at the scoreboard and seeing a 10-run cushion, Mitchell recorded a six-pitch inning followed by a nine-pitch inning to end the game.
Game Two of the Bulldog World Series will take place at 10 a.m. CT Saturday at Dudy Noble Field. Admission is free and open to the public.
(From MSU Media Relations)