Diamond Dogs Open Preseason; Rooker, Bragg Hit Homers on Offensive Afternoon

The warm weather left and intrasquad baseball began. Chilled as hours on Dudy Noble Field left him, though, Coach Andy Cannizaro was excited to talk about the first Diamond Dog scrimmage.

Mississippi State began the three-week leadup to Cannizaro’s debut season Friday. There are more scrimmages set for noon Saturday and 1:00 Sunday.

Offense took the lead on day-one. In fact the very first at-bat of the first scrimmage put now-sophomore centerfielder Jake Mangum at the plate…and he singled to center, naturally. Second baseman Hunter Stovall and junior redshirt outfielder Tanner Poole each hit two-run doubles.

And even power was on display. Junior corner-infielder Harrison Bragg went the other way and went big with a high fly clearing rightfield. Outfielder Brent Rooker had the other longball, a no-doubt shot two rows into the rigs behind left-centerfield.

Cannizaro and staff mixed the handful of returning starters around two lineups, which will change as the new head coach stresses both individual and club competition in each scrimmage.

For game-one, the Gray lineup in batting order was: CF Jake Mangum, SS Ryan Gridley, LF Brant Blaylock, 1B Cole Gordon, C Josh Lovelady, RF Hunter Vansau, 3B Harrison Bragg, 2B Reed Smith.

The Maroon lineup was 2B Hunter Stovall, SS Luke Alexander, RF Brent Rooker, LF Elijah MacNamee, 1B Cody Brown, 3B Dustin Skelton, CF Tanner Poole, C Elih Marrero.

Gene Swindoll kept batting statistics and charted pitches for an accompanying story.

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