It was a very successful start to the season for the Mississippi State Baseball team. They outscored their two opponents 48-8, John Cohen got to play a ton of different players at almost every position, and several new faces made their debuts. Here were our impact performances.
Hitter of the weekend: Seth Heck
The senior shortstop got off to a red-hot start in the opener on Friday night and never looked back. Heck had nine hits in 16 at bats, drove in four runs, and scored seven times on the weekend. He was the leader of an MSU hitting attack that hit .343 as a team and had a whopping 40 RBI's.
Pitcher of the weekend: The trio of lefties
We had to go with three players for this one. Ross Mitchell, Vance Tatum, and Daniel Brown dominated out of the bullpen, giving up no runs and only five hits in a combined 14 1/3 innings of work. Ross did his usual thing. Daniel Brown actually pitched in two different games, looking solid both times out. Vance Tatum may end up in a starting role before season's end. These three guys will give John Cohen and Butch Thompson some very good options against left-handed lineups the rest of the season.
Stat that made the difference: 31
The Bulldogs took advantage of some pretty sloppy pitching from the opposition and managed to rack up 31 walks. If you do the math, that's almost eight walks per contest. Unbelievable. They will certainly see better pitching as the year goes on, but the patience they were able to show at the plate in the first four games is a promising sign. Getting on base that often combined with timely hitting makes for a dangerous recipe.
Best moment: Ross Mitchell's RBI single
Talk about a heck of a day. The senior picked up the win on the mound in the first game of a double-header and then picked up a bat for the first time in his career later in the day and delivered a run-scoring single. It was definitely a crowd pleaser and something Ross will not soon forget.
MVP of the weekend: Jacob Robson
We could easily go with Seth Heck here as his numbers were very similar, but what Robson accomplished was nothing short of amazing. He reached base safely in his first 13 at bats and had an OBP of .765 over the four games. He hit .600 for the weekend and scored a team high eight runs. He proved to be the type of player everyone thought he could be when he was recruited. It's still too early to tell, but it looks as if Robson has finally turned the corner offensively.