STARKVILLE, Miss. – Alabama baseball battled with the reigning national champions on Friday night as the Crimson Tide and Mississippi State Bulldogs met for a fall exhibition at Dudy Noble Field.
The Crimson Tide got on the board early thanks to a solo home run from Owen Diodati in his first at-bat of the night. Mississippi State was able to strike for a pair in the bottom of the sixth before both teams were held off the scoreboard until the final frame. Andrew Pinckney evened things up with a solo shot in the top of the 14th but the Bulldogs added the go-ahead run in the home half.
On the mound, nine Tide pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts while limiting State to three runs on five hits. Luke Holman and Garrett McMillan each registered three strikeouts while Ben Hess, Antoine Jean, and Hunter Furtado joined Holman and McMillan in contributing 2.0 innings apiece on the night.
Alabama will continue its fall schedule with practices and intrasquad scrimmages mixed in over the next two weeks leading up to a trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide and Rebels will meet for an exhibition on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Swayze Field with first pitch tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.
Overall thoughts on the night:
“Today was a really positive day for our team. I really appreciate Chris (Lemonis) having us over and it was exciting for our kids to play in front of a great crowd with so many Bama fans in attendance.
“The big question mark for this team is the lack of SEC experience on the pitching staff. I don’t think you could leave the ballpark and not be excited about Ben Hess, Antoine Jean, Luke Holman, Hunter Furtado and Hagan Banks. Garrett McMillan is an older kid, but he’s new here. Those guys all pitched really well and that’s where it all starts is on the mound. We threw a bunch of strikes with multiple pitches, and we played 14 defensive innings of errorless ball, including multiple web gems. I’m excited to get to work the next two weeks and get prepared to play a great Ole Miss team on Oct. 30.”
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