06 May

join the club

J.P. France, who pitched one season at Mississippi State, is scheduled to start tonight for Houston, which would make the right-hander the first Mississippian (native or school alum) to debut in the big leagues in 2023. France, whose college career began at Tulane, will become the 21st state-connected player to appear in an MLB game this season when he faces Seattle. Drafted in 2018, France made the Astros’ 40-man roster in the off-season and began this year at Triple-A Sugar Land. He is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA over five appearances (three starts) and 20-17, 3.73, career. … Braden Shewmake joined the looong list of Mississippi Braves alums to advance to the majors when he debuted at shortstop for Atlanta on Friday night, going 0-for-4 in the loss to Baltimore. Shewmake spent parts of the 2019 and ’21 seasons in Pearl. He played five sports in high school in Texas before moving on to Texas A&M; the Braves drafted him in the first round in 2019. He joins a looong list of M-Braves shortstops to play in the majors. That list includes: Vaughn Grissom, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Luis Hernandez, Yunel Escobar, Diory Hernandez, Brandon Hicks, Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Pastornicky, Andrelton Simmons, Ed Lucas, Daniel Castro and Dylan Moore. … Numbers of note from Friday’s big league games: ex-Ole Miss star Lance Lynn got his first win (in seven starts) of 2023 for the Chicago White Sox; George County High product Justin Steele got his fifth win for the Cubs; and former MSU standout Brent Rooker hit his 10th homer for Oakland. … Happy (sort of) anniversary to MSU product Jack Kruger, who made his lone big league appearance on this date in 2021, his sixth year in pro ball. He entered as a defensive replacement at catcher for the Los Angeles Angels and didn’t get an at-bat. Kruger spent last season in Triple-A with Texas and is now a free agent. P.S. College stuff: William Carey University eliminated Blue Mountain Christian on Friday in the SSAC Tournament; Millsaps bowed out in the SAA Tournament, losing its second game of the day; Delta State lost its opener in the GSC Tournament; and Belhaven, 1-0 in the CCS Tournament, plays its second-round game today. … Meridian Community College, Pearl River, Itawamba and Northeast all won Friday to advance to next week’s NJCAA Division II Region 23 Tournament in Eunice, La.

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