STARKVILLE – A pair of local freshmen played a big role in the Maroon team claiming a walk-off victory in Game 1 of the Bulldog World Series.
With the intrasquad scrimmage tied in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, Pontotoc’s Delvin Zinn got things going when he slapped a one out double to left.
Zinn took third on a passed ball and scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to center by Luke Alexander of Belmont to lift Maroon to a 4-3 victory over its Gray counterparts.
“We learned a lot today about ourselves,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “We got a ton of younger guys in a competitive situation so hopefully this is one of those learning days for us.”
Zinn went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles to account for half of Maroon’s total hits.
“Delvin is a phenomenal athlete who hasn’t played as much baseball as he’ll play in the future,” Cohen said. “He was a high school basketball player as well. I feel like he does something to get better every day. He has a very, very bright future.”
The Maroon team also took advantage of four errors by the Gray squad.
Junior Zac Houston picked up the win hurling 1 1/3 innings of relief. Houston surrendered a run on three hits and had one strikeout.
True freshman Konnor Pilkington started the contest on the mound for Maroon, tossing two innings and allowing a run on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
The Gray squad collected 10 hits on the afternoon led by junior catcher Jack Kruger, who was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Junior centerfielder Jacob Robson went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in the losing effort.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Mahoney was saddled with the loss giving up a run in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Mahoney issued two walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts and a hit.
True freshman Trysten Barlow started the game for Gray. Barlow logged three frames allowing two runs on two hits with a pair of strikeouts and a walk.
After the game, Cohen commented on the status of junior pitcher Paul Young, who was arrested on campus Tuesday afternoon on a simple assualt charge.
“I just don’t enough information on that yet to even comment,” Cohen said. “When I do have information, obviously we’ll make a statement. We don’t have as much information as we want just yet.”
Young was dressed out for Wednesday’s scrimmage but did not pitch. Also present was pitching coach Butch Thompson, who has been linked with the coaching vacancy at Auburn.
Game 2 of the best of five series is slated for Friday at 4 p.m. Freshman southpaw Ethan Small will start on the mound for Maroon while Gray counters with freshman right-hander Noah Hughes.