While in the grip of postseason fever, here’s a well-deserved shout-out to Luther Hackman, the former Columbus High star who took MVP honors in back-to-back Taiwan Series in 2008 and ’09. (Stumbled across this compelling nugget of information while searching for something else on baseball-reference.com.) Hackman, a 6-foot-4 right-hander who pitched in the big leagues from 1999-2003, threw 17 shutout innings for the Uni-President Lions and won Games 4 and 7 in the ’08 Taiwan Series, the championship of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. In 2009, Hackman won Games 1, 4 and 7 of the series for the Lions. Hackman pitched in the CPBL for three years, 2010 being his last as a player. Drafted by Colorado in the sixth round in 1994, Hackman pitched in 149 big league games with three clubs and posted a 5.09 ERA. He also pitched in the independent Atlantic League, Mexico and Korea, with middling success. Yet he may still be a legend in the CPBL. P.S. A belated shout-out to umpire Lance Barksdale, the Brookhaven native who was behind the plate for Saturday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. Barksdale missed just one call, according to umpscorecards.com, posting a 99 percent accuracy rate. The one miss: a called strike on a 3-2 pitch to Philadelphia’s Trea Turner in the third inning.
Jared Shuster, a highly rated Atlanta prospect and an All-Star Futures Game selection, threw seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts in the Mississippi Braves’ 6-0 win Tuesday night against Rocket City at Trustmark Park. Left-hander Shuster, 23, a first-round pick in 2020, is 6-7 with a 2.87 ERA and 98 K’s in 84 2/3 innings. … Vaughn Grissom, the Braves’ No. 4 prospect, made his Double-A debut (see previous post) and went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a steal for the M-Braves. … Former M-Braves pitcher A.J. Minter, filling in as closer, worked a clean ninth inning for his fourth save in Atlanta’s 4-1 win vs. the New York Mets. Minter has a 1.66 ERA in 41 appearances this season. … If anyone was wondering: Andy Fletcher, an Ole Miss alum who lives in Mississippi, was behind the plate for the Mets-Braves game at Truist Park; he graded out on ball-strike calls at 95.4 percent accuracy (seventh-best among the 15 umps who worked Tuesday) and 92 consistency (second-lowest), according to umpscorecards.com. … Ole Miss’ Jacob Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in Team USA’s 10-0 win against The Netherlands. Gonzalez is batting .286 in the tournament for the Collegiate National Team (3-1). … McComb native Corey Dickerson, in his fourth game off the injured list, banged out two more hits in St. Louis’ win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and raised his average over .200 (.207). … Hunter Renfroe, the ex-Mississippi State standout from Crystal Springs, returned from the IL for Milwaukee and went 0-for-4 in the Brewers’ win against Minnesota in a clash of first-place teams. … MSU product Konnor Pilkington, called up to start Game 2 of a twinbill for Cleveland, worked five innings and allowed three earned runs in a 7-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Pilkington is 1-2, 4.24, in 11 games in his rookie campaign. … Former State star Chris Stratton made his first start since 2019 and pitched 2 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh in a victory against Miami. Stratton, with a 5.06 ERA in 37 games this season, allowed two hits and one run. He left the game after yielding a double to Ole Miss alum Nick Fortes. … Brent Rooker, 0-for-7 in two games with San Diego, was optioned back to Triple-A El Paso, the third time in 2022 the MSU product has been up-and-down. … Northwest Mississippi Community College alum Cody Reed pitched a scoreless inning for Tampa Bay’s team in the Florida Complex League, his first appearance this season. Reed, a six-year MLB vet, pitched in 12 games for the Rays last season before an injury sidelined him. He was hurt again in the spring. … Ex-Southern Miss star Kirk McCarty, claimed off waivers by Baltimore last week and sent to Triple-A, was designated for assignment by the Orioles. … Tanner Allen, the 2021 Ferriss Trophy winner at State, went 2-for-4 in his first game for Low-Class A Jupiter in Miami’s system. Allen was sent down from High-A Beloit with a .209 average.