Fall baseball scrums are subject to lineup changes, pitch count situations and hitting order changes to meet the needs of the moment and satisfy the coaching staff. That was the case on Monday afternoon as the reigning national champions the Mississippi State Bulldogs conducted their seventh intra-team scrum of the offseason.
In this particular case, MSU was limited to just three pitchers combined to work against Team Maroon and Team Black. For the record, the black unit beat their Brown counterparts 3-1 in a five-innings scrum. The sequence of events allowed for the possibility that the winning and losing pitcher was the same Bulldog, and he could have had a save as well.
Fortunately, this was not the case, although these three pitchers alternated opposing formations throughout the day. And then the melee continued after the end of the live hurling with a throwing machine on the mound of Dudy Noble Field, and the chance of an inanimate object being a record thrower entered the list of possibilities.
With humans on the hill, the black team beat the top 1-0 early in the first set. Shortstop Lane Forsythe netted a brace down the field at center-right and scored when first-year first baseman Hunter Hines tore a two-run single to the right. That run marked team starter Maroon Parker Stinnett, who worked a total of three innings in the game, striking out five.
The brown offense scored in his half of the first left-handed starter of the black team Tayler Montiel. Third baseman Kamren James lined up a single down center left and made it safe to third when second base defensive player of choice Kellum Clark was thrown into left field. Logan Tanner brought James home with a ground ball to the hole at the shortstop. James was two-for-two in his second game after being absent from scrum work with a hand injury. For Tanner, it was his sixth RBI in seven games.
The Maroons loaded up the bases in the fourth, but came back empty as Montiel came out of the jam. A single from James and a walk to Tanner put the runners first and second with two outs. RJ Yeager, who wore the yellow jersey for his defensive work on Sunday, smashed a single on the third base line and out of the glove of first-year prospect of third base Slate Alford, which prevented the ball from reaching the corner and score points. Montiel pulled out first baseman Von Seibert to close the frame.
The Blacks regain the advantage in third against Montiel. After recording the first out, center fielder Brayland Skinner suffered a simple decay, stole the second and third, and scored on Luke Hancock’s sacrificial volley to the right. Forsythe, who had walked, crossed the bar for Hines’ second single of the day. Skinner also put on a brilliant defensive play in the outfield, taking a diving catch from the gap to center-left on a Davis Meche strike line.