Though the Mississippi Braves’ season opener was postponed by rain on Tuesday night, there was a boatload of other games on opening day for minor league baseball and several Mississippians made a splash. Kirk McCarty, the ex-Southern Miss standout, went five innings (two earned runs) to get the win for Triple-A Columbus in the Cleveland system. The left-hander is in his fourth pro season, first in Class AAA. Ole Miss alum Ryan Rolison, a 2018 first-rounder and a top prospect in Colorado’s chain, went five innings (one run) for a win in his Double-A debut with Hartford. Jacob Robson, a fifth-year pro out of State, went 2-for-4 with a home run for Double-A Erie in Detroit’s system. The lefty-hitting outfielder has a .290 career average. Former Pascagoula High star Willie Joe Garry, Jr., homered for Fort Myers, Minnesota’s Low-A club. This is the third pro season for the former ninth-round pick. Ex-State star Justin Foscue and Ole Miss product Tyler Keenan, both 2020 draftees, made their official pro debuts in High-A ball. Both went hitless, Foscue for Hickory in the Texas system, Keenan for Everett in Seattle’s organization. P.S. Jared Johnson, the former Smithville High standout with the big arm, has popped in on Atlanta’s MLB Pipeline prospect list at No. 30. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander, a 14th-round pick in 2019, reportedly threw 97 mph in Instructional League last fall. He pitched in the rookie Gulf Coast League in 2019 and put up a 3.52 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. He was almost unhittable at Smithville. Only 20, he is probably a couple of years away from appearing in Mississippi with the Double-A club but is worth keeping an eye on.
The 100th home run of Hunter Renfroe’s big league career sailed into the seats above the Green Monster on Tuesday night. It was his first homer at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox, who signed the former Mississippi State star primarily to add some power to their lineup. After a sluggish start, Renfroe may be beginning to produce the desired thunder. He has homered twice in his last three games and, after a 3-for-4 effort in Tuesday’s win against Detroit, is batting .333 over his last seven games. “Just changing a little timing, making sure it’s a little better, that’s really what I’ve been working on in the cage a little bit and just staying with my approach,” the Crystal Springs native said in an mlb.com story. He is at .222 for the year with three bombs and 13 RBIs. … Ex-Bulldogs standout Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer for Oakland in a win over Toronto on Tuesday, giving him 601 RBIs for his 12-year career. It was his 180th career homer. Moreland, who left Boston as a free agent and signed with the A’s in the off-season, is hitting .225 with four homers and 13 RBIs. … George County High product Justin Steele, a rookie with the Chicago Cubs, notched his first career MLB win Tuesday after pitching a scoreless ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs won Game 2 of the twinbill on David Bote’s walk-off hit. Steele, who won 16 games as an oft-injured starter in the minors going back to 2014, has posted a 3.68 ERA in six appearances this season with 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. P.S. Ole Miss alum Mike Mayers has been put on the 10-day injured list (undisclosed) by the Los Angeles Angels. The reliever has a 2.51 ERA in 14 games.