It didn’t take long into his big league career for Matt Wallner to do what Matt Wallner does: go yard. The former Southern Miss slugger, called up from the minors by Minnesota today, hit a 414-foot home run against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber in his third at-bat. Wallner is USM’s career home run leader and has 50 minor league bombs on his three-year pro ledger, including 27 this year split between Double-A and Triple-A. He also crushed a homer in the All-Star Futures Game in July. Wallner becomes the 25th Mississippian to play in the majors in 2022 and the fifth to make his debut, the third from USM. (The other rookies are Ethan Small, Konnor Pilkington, Kirk McCarty and Chuckie Robinson.) … St. Louis recalled ex-Mississippi State star Dakota Hudson from a brief hiatus in the minors to start against Cincinnati today, and the right-hander threw eight innings, allowing one unearned run, and departed with a comfortable lead. Hudson had a 7-7 record entering today’s game.
Friday was a banner day for ex-Mississippi State stars in the big leagues and the minors. Start in Milwaukee, where Bulldogs alumnus Hunter Renfroe led off the ninth inning with a double and eventually scored the walk-off run in a 7-6 victory against the New York Yankees. (Garrett Mitchell, a rookie who spent most of this season at Double-A Biloxi, got the winning knock for the Brewers, clinging to hope in the National League wild card race.) Move to St. Louis, where Chris Stratton threw three pitches, got one key out and notched the win for the Cardinals, who are closing in on the NL Central title. Stratton got the final out of the seventh inning with two runners on base and St. Louis rallied in the bottom half to go ahead and ultimately beat Cincinnati 6-5. Stratton is 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA since he joined the Cards in August and has a 1.29 in his last seven appearances. At Tampa Bay, Nathaniel Lowe blasted his 25th homer to help also-ran Texas beat the wild card-chasing Rays 4-3. Tampa Bay is third in the American League wild card standings, behind Toronto and Seattle. … Down in the minors: Justin Foscue homered and drove in four runs as Frisco, Texas’ Double-A club, clinched the second-half title in the Texas League South; Jordan Westburg went 5-for-5 with his 17th homer for Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore), his 26th overall this season; and Brent Rooker smacked his fifth homer for Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City), his 24th all told in the minors this season.