It’s time to start a busy couple days of Mississippi State baseball. The C-Spire Ferriss Trophy will be awarded today to the best college baseball player in Mississippi, and it’s there where we’ll start.
I’m on my way to Jackson and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame right now for the ceremony where MSU junior pitchers Jacob Lindgren and Ross Mitchell are finalists for the honor. The candidates across the board are all worthy of celebration, but we’ll take a quick look at the two Bulldogs.
Mitchell actually appears to be the leading vote-getter in the fan polls, which accounts for 10 percent of the total. On Friday against Alabama, he got his eighth quality start of the season and is working on a 27.1 inning scoreless streak. Mitchell, named SEC Pitcher of the Week three times this year, leads the conference in total innings pitched, boasts a 1.98 ERA and is holding opponents to a .215 batting average.
Lindgren, with his outstanding numbers, could be one of the best pitchers in the conference and country in 2014. After finishing the regular season Saturday, Lindgren ended up No. 1 in SEC play in ERA (0.55), opponent batting average (.114), hits allowed (13), earned runs allowed (2) and runs allowed (4). Leading the conference in just one of those would be good, let alone all of them.
Despite not starting a game, he’s still earned five wins for the Bulldogs this season, tied for second-most on the team. Lindgren also has an incredible 87 strikeouts on only 162 batters faced, a strikeouts per nine innings number which leads the country.
Each are worthy candidates and we’ll find out sometime around noon-ish who the winner is.
In other baseball news, the series win over Alabama earned MSU the fifth seed in the SEC Tournament this week, though they were percentage points away from the four and a bye. As such, the Bulldogs of Starkville will play the Bulldogs of Athens on Tuesday night at 8 to open tourney play. This first game is win-or-go-home, but if MSU wins it will then go to double elimination beginning Wednesday.
Tuesday night’s game will be broadcast on CSS and John Cohen confirmed Sunday that Lucas Laster will be MSU’s starting pitcher.
Sticking with SEC postseason competition, we’ll switch to track and field, where Steve Dudley’s Bulldogs have done some damage, earning two conference titles this weekend.
On Sunday, Brandon McBride was crowned the SEC champion in the outdoor men’s 800m run, clocking in at 1:47:59. He won the national title for the indoor 800 and is following that up with an impressive outdoor season.
On Saturday, Rochelle Farquharson brought home the SEC Outdoor Long Jump title, notching a leap of 21-02.50, her second SEC Championship of the year after winning the indoor long jump title.
Two more teams were in the postseason over the weekend, these two both competing in the NCAA Tournament.
MSU’s softball team fell in game three of the NCAA Lafayette Regional as Texas came from behind to win in the final inning. I’ve written plenty about their third-straight NCAA Tourney appearance as I was with them all weekend. I kept a live thread going the whole time, which you can review here should you be interested – https://hailstatebeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/running-thread-msu-softball-in-ncaa-lafayette-regional/
Elsewhere, MSU’s men’s golf team was off in Illinois for their NCAA Regional, where they had to battle snow (in May!) to get on the course. Their second Tournament appearance in a row, the Bulldogs finished 12th at the Sugar Grove Regional.
In other golf news, the women’s team is already in Tulsa where they will be playing in the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row, the national title on the line.
Related: junior Ally McDonald was named to Capital One’s academic all-district team for her performance on the course and in the classroom. She has the lowest single-season stroke average in school history at 71.74 and boasts a 3.58 GPA. Impressive on both.
Several quick men’s tennis notes to highlight:
- MSU’s Matt Roberts was named the ITA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
- Freshman Florian Lakat was named Rookie of the Year in the region.
- Senior Malte Stropp was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team for his classroom and on-court successes.
- Three Bulldogs will be representing MSU in the NCAA Individual Championships as the No. 18 doubles pair of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp were selected, as well as the freshman Lakat for singles play following his honor as SEC Freshman of the Year.