05 Jul

star-spangled performance

There is something special about having a big day on July 4, when baseball tends to command center stage in the sports world. Brent Rooker, the Mississippi State product now with the Oakland A’s, rose to the occasion on Thursday, going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI (plus a stolen base!) in Oakland’s 5-0 win over the visiting Los Angeles Angels. Rooker is making a strong case for a second straight trip to the All-Star Game. He is batting .273 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs. He went 6-for-10 with two homers in the A’s three-game sweep of the Angels and is batting .352 over his last 15 games. The full All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday. “Just being candid and being honest, I think the numbers I’ve put up this year are right in line with the rest of the guys that will be there,” Rooker told mlb.com. “If I’m there, awesome.” Rooker is also a trade candidate for a last-place A’s team that is 33-56 and going nowhere in 2024. … Other star-spangled performances from July 4: Ex-State standout Jordan Westburg, another All-Star candidate, hit his 14th home run for Baltimore. Former Southern Miss star Nick Sandlin came off the injured list and got the last three outs in a win by surging Cleveland. Biloxi High product Colt Keith hit his fifth home run in a 2-for-4 day for Detroit. MSU alum Hunter Renfroe went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Kansas City. Former DeSoto Central standout Austin Riley went 1-for-3 with an RBI for Atlanta. P.S. Down in the minors, ex-USM star Justin Storm notched his fourth win with two solid innings of work for Low-Class A Jupiter in the Miami system. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound left-hander, a 2023 draftee, has a 1.40 ERA, an 0.97 WHIP, two saves and 35 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings over 16 games this season. The Madison Central alum isn’t currently listed among the Marlins’ Top 30 prospects (by MLB Pipeline), but he must be knocking on that door. … Bryson Ware, former Germantown High and Pearl River Community College standout, blasted two homers for Low-A Clearwater (Philadelphia system) and now has nine bombs and 40 RBIs on the year.