10 May

we have liftoff

Since the calendar flipped to May, Grae Kessinger’s bat has taken off. Now playing for Houston’s Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys, ex-Ole Miss star Kessinger has hit .500 (15-for-30) in seven games this month with two homers, 11 RBIs and a .568 on-base percentage. He went 1-for-3 with two walks on Tuesday, his first game after a five-hit, two-homer effort in a wild contest on Sunday. It didn’t hurt that the first six games of the month were played at Albuquerque, where the ball flies, but you still gotta put bat on ball. He has struck out just five times this month. Kessinger is hitting .311 for the year with four homers and 21 RBIs in 32 games. An All-America shortstop at UM — and the grandson of MLB star Don Kessinger — Grae was drafted in the second round by the Astros in 2019. This is his first season in Triple-A after batting .211 with 16 homers in Double-A in ’22. He has played short, second and third base this season, showing some versatility that can only enhance his value in Houston, where the starting lineup is tough to crack. P.S. After three straight tight wins in the losers bracket of the Gulf South Conference Tournament, Delta State ran smack into a wall on Tuesday, falling to top-seeded West Florida 17-1 at Oxford, Ala. DSU finishes 27-26 in coach Rodney Batts’ fourth season. … In MLB, former Mississippi State standout Kendall Graveman notched his first save with a clean ninth inning for the Chicago White Sox and fellow ex-Bulldogs ace Chris Stratton earned his first win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis against the Cubs.

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