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The W loses first three baseball games

 

From Special Reports

 

 

IRVING, Texas -- The Mississippi University for Women baseball team lost to the University of Dallas 11-4 and 6-5 on Saturday. 

 

The game scheduled for 11 a.m. today was canceled due to inclement weather. 

 

The Crusaders used a six-run third inning in the first game of the day to break it open. 

 

In the fifth, RJ Cox singled up the middle to score Prince Tolbert for The W's first run. Eiland Cleckler scored on an error to cut the deficit to 10-2. 

 

In the sixth, former Starkville High School standout Nick Brooks singled to left field to score Bobby Neal. Tolbert scored his second run on an error. 

 

Brooks, Cleckler, Cox, Damain Benefield, Neal, and Tolbert had hits. 

 

"We played a little better in this game than we did yesterday," The W coach Matt Wolfenbarger said. "The biggest thing we have to do is stay away from big innings. Yesterday and today's games could have been a one-to-two run game going either way if we had just competed and played like we are capable of playing each inning. 

 

In the second game of the day, Trever Thompson pitched four innings to keep the Owls in the game. 

 

The W used a four-run third sparked by a Sumpter Bass single that scored Tolbert. Lukas Murphy singled up the middle to score Heath Ford. Kyle Brown reached base on a fielder's choice that allowed Bass and Johndavid Birdsong to score. 

 

The Owls added a run in the top of the fifth when Birdsong scored on an error. 

 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Crusaders tied the game at 5-5. 

 

Dallas scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. 

 

Ford and Bass were 2-for-4.  

 

"The guys did a really good job today," Wolfenbarger said. "We pretty much held the lead the entire game until they tied it in the sixth and won it in the seventh. It's not a win, but it's good to see that we can give ourselves a chance to win when we compete in every inning. I believe the players saw that in this game and it's definitely something we can build on." 

 

n On Friday, Ford, a former Oak Hill Academy standout, had two hits, but The W lost to Dallas 12-4 in its season opener and the first game in program history. 

 

"The guys played good for eight innings," Wolfenbarger said. "We had one bad inning that allowed the game to get away from us. I feel we are going to be real competitive once we get the kinks worked out." 

 

Will Peters, Cox (run), Brooks, who also had a stolen base, Bass (triple, run scored, two RBIs), and Birdsong also had hits for the Owls. 

 

Leon Petite scored two runs. Former Heritage Academy standout Brandon Jones was 0-for-1. 

 

Freshman Drew Williams earned the start and allowed five hits in six innings. He allowed three runs (one earned), walked one, and struck out two. Jose Ortiz, Cox, Austin Sparks, and Cleckler followed on the mound. 

 

Cleckler, who is listed as an infielder on the roster, allowed one hit and struck out two in one inning. 

 

n Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern  

 

Mississippi put players on USA Baseball Golden Spikes list: Mississippi State's Konnor Pilkington and Jake Mangum, Ole Miss' Ryan Rolison, and Southern Mississippi's Matt Wallner were named Friday to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. 

 

The watch list features 55 of the nation's top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players. 

 

Pilkington and Mangum have combined for seven preseason All-American honors (Pilkington has five, while Mangum has three). 

 

Ranked the No. 12 overall prospect for the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, Pilkington is coming off a sophomore season in which he went 8-5 with a 3.08 earned run average in a team-high 17 starts and 108 innings. This summer, the Hurley native pitched for the USA Collegiate National Team. He had a 2.65 ERA and held opponents to a .183 batting average in five appearances. 

 

A 2017 MLB draft pick, Mangum received Southeastern Conference All-Defensive Team and second-team All-SEC honors following his sophomore season. With 174 hits in his first two seasons, Mangum trails Rafael Palmeiro (193) for the most hits in program history through the first two seasons of a career. 

 

Rolison, a sophomore left-hander, is the first Ole Miss player to earn the preseason honor since Christian Trent in 2015. Rolison, who was named a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game, D1Baseball, and College Sports Madness, is No. 2 in D1Baseball's Top 100 Draft prospects. 

 

The Jackson, Tennessee, native is coming off a season in which he earned freshman All-America honors and SEC All-Freshman honors. He went 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA last season. He struck out 64 in 61 2/3 innings. 

 

Rolison is the first Rebel in three years to land on the watch list. Christian Trent, who is now in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, made the list in 2015. 

 

Wallner, an outfielder/pitcher from Forest Lake, Minnesota, was named Freshman of the Year in 2017 by several national media organizations. He also earned multiple All-America accolades. He is the second Golden Eagle to earn a spot on this list. B.A. Vollmuth, who is a member of the baseball team's coaching staff, earned a spot in 2011. 

 

Wallner also is a consensus preseason All-American heading into the 2018 campaign. 

 

Starting on March 26 and ending April 1, fans will be able to nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the reveal of the midseason watch list April 10. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff, and the 40 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. 

 

The 2018 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented Thursday, June 28. Following the nationally televised announcement of the winner, the finalists and their families will be celebrated at the Jonathan Club Los Angeles as part of the 2018 Rod Dedeaux Foundation Awards Dinner. 

 

Fans can meet Mangum, Pilkington and the rest of the MSU team today at Fan Day at the Palmeiro Center in Starkville. Cowbell Yell will take place Tuesday. Both events are free. 

 

MSU, which is ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation by D1 Baseball (No. 23 by Baseball America) will take on Southern Mississippi at 4 p.m. Friday in Hattiesburg in the season opener for both teams. The game is part of a three-game weekend series. 

 

 

 

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