Twenty years from now, when the trivia question, "What pitcher was awarded the first win in the new Dudy Noble Field?" is asked, the answer will be Mississippi State University sophomore Cole Marsh.
No. 21 MSU (7-5) christened the new Dudy Noble Field in dominant fashion after taking a 9-1 win over New Mexico State University (8-5).
Marsh, a right handed pitcher from Monroe, Louisiana, pitched five innings, gave up one run and four hits, and struck out three batters in his outing.
“I did not have nerves in my stomach, it was more like I was excited to get out there and finally play,” Marsh said. “In front of my fans, teammates and staff. I was really excited and after my first pitch, I really calmed down.”
The game was one for the record books, and will show Marsh as the first pitcher to win a game in the new stadium. Marsh said he was reminded of this by people going into the game.
“I had so many people texting, call me about it like, 'Hey, you are going in history as the first pitch in the Dude,'" Marsh said. “That was great. It is a good feeling knowing that history was made tonight and not just me.”
MSU head coach Gary Henderson shared his thoughts on the performance of starting pitcher Cole Marsh.
“After the three hits in the first, I thought he would waiver a little bit, I thought he kept his poise,” Henderson said. “Overall for his first outing he was really impressed. I thought he did a decent job of throwing his fastball down and mixing his breaking balls enough.”
Marsh, who transferred to MSU from Mississippi Delta Community College, talked about playing in front of the 7,179 fans in attendance who joined him in breaking in the new stadium.
“I felt great, first guy came in and you obviously got those jitters, people filling up the stands,” Marsh said. “Great fans, and you just do not have that at Delta, and growing up in baseball, you are lucky to have more than 30 people come.”
Henderson was impressed by the amount of people who came out to watch the first game in the new, but still under construction, stadium. He said there was only one way he could describe it.
“I thought it was awesome, how could you think of anything else,” Henderson said. “We had like 8,000 people here on a Tuesday night in early March. I was really impressed and so were the kids.”
The offense also made history by scoring the most runs in the new Dude’s history, scoring nine runs and getting 12 hits. Jake Mangum, a junior outfielder from Pearl, had three hits in three at bats, scored twice and batted in one runner. He said it was a team effort to beat NMSU.
“Tonight we faced a really good team, who is really good offensively,” Mangum said. “Leading the country in RBIs or whatever it is. But Cole and Denver shut 'em down. In the top to bottom of the lineup, we had great at bats, great swings, and it showed.”
Mangum said it was the biggest crowd he had ever seen for a midweek game, and is really excited to see an even bigger crowd when they open up SEC play against No. 15 Vanderbilt in a little more than a week.
“It has been the most crowded that a game has ever been on a Tuesday night, ever,” Mangum said. “It is awesome, it is really cool to see, and it is not even done yet. Really excited to see it. Big weekend next weekend against Vanderbilt, it is going to be cool to see.”
MSU will take on NMSU once again Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.