Here we are just weeks away from the start of the 2018 Football season. Currently the Bulldogs are getting a lot of love around the SEC, and many other major sports networks, which has me very excited to see the Bulldogs hit the Grid Iron. But, before I can jump in with both feet, l I have to give one more Shout Out; to the baseball team for what they did for this university and the greatest Fans Base in college sports.
The Diamond Dawgs just completed one of the greatest season in the history of the program. Compared to the 1985 team, and the more recent 2013 team, I would have to say that this unit had to deal with a lot more adversity from the beginning of the season and found a way to work around that adversity to become one of the nation’s best college baseball programs.
It is also very import for everyone to remember that this baseball team lost over 40% of their offensive production from last year and started 4 true freshman the majority of the season. There is no doubt that the team got off to a slow start to begin the season, but found their grove when it mattered most against TSUN. Taking 3 out of 4 from Ole Miss really set the table for the rest of the season leading to Omaha.
Here are a few thoughts to leave everyone with. First some not so great news, the Bulldogs lost some good pitching in Zack Neff, JP France, Jacob Billingsley, and Konnor Pilkington, our Friday night starter. In addition to the pitching, we took a big hit when second baseman Hunter Stovall signed with the Rockies, for which I hear he is swinging the bat pretty well already.
Now for the good things, Jake Mangum and Elijah MacNamee are coming back as well as the rest of the starting line-up. This is huge considering that a majority of our pitching from the post season, to include Omaha, is returning in 2019. Expect the 2019 team to be highly ranked in all preseason polls and for good reason. I believe Mississippi State will field the best team in Bulldog history next season and will be a favorite to win the SEC and will make the trip back to Omaha to settle unfinished business.
Here is some icing on the cake, State has already landed the 30th over-all first round pick of 2018 JT Ginn, after he turned down the Dodgers last month. Ginn is listed as a middle infielder but I expect to see him in the bullpen next year with his mid to upper 90’s fastball. There is still a possibility that we can secure the 8th overall pick in Carter Stewart, another big arm that could be in the weekend rotation if he chooses to stay with State. Both players have explosive arms in the mid to upper 90’s, something State has needed for quite some time.
So as excited as I am for football, I am equally excited for next year’s baseball team and their quest for a National Championship.