The scoring began in the top of the third, when Maroon’s Jacob Robson singled up the middle and immediately stole second base. The speedster sprinted to third on a botched pickoff attempt at second, before scoring on a grounder to shortstop by senior Seth Heck.
Gray tied it up one inning later when leadoff batter Cody Brown was hit by a pitch. The redshirt sophomore then went from first to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Collins, who just missed a home run over the batter’s eye.
Tied at one in the top of the fifth, Robson rifled a single up the middle with one out, before Heck reached first on an error. With two gone, redshirt freshman Dylan Ingram launched a base hit to the gap in left, scoring Robson for the go-ahead run.
Trailing by one, Gray took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame with RBIs by newcomers Michael Smith and Ryan Gridley. The long-ball dramatics then followed to give the game its final score of 4-3.
Starting pitchers Daniel Brown and Preston Brown looked sharp in their fall debuts, giving up just one run each in three total innings of work.
The Bulldogs return to action Saturday for a 4 p.m. CT scrimmage at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson. For more information on the MSU baseball program, follow the team on Twitter, like the squad on Facebook and join the Diamond Dawgs on Instagram.