STARKVILLE • Mississippi State players got a late start to their summer schedules due to the Diamond Dogs’ deep run at the College World Series.
But MSU will still have 11 players participating in five summer leagues across the country, including four Bulldogs in the Cape Cod League.
Tanner Allen, Rowdey Jordan and Jordan Westburg will team up once again for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League – where they will play for MSU legend Ron Polk, who is an assistant coach.
Justin Foscue is also scheduled to play in the Cape for the Wareham Gatemen although he, Allen and Westburg are currently attempting to make the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in which coach Chris Lemonis is serving on the team’s task force.
Former Houston standout Luke Hancock will be behind the plate for the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms of the Coastal Plains League while fellow catcher Hayden Jones is set to suit up for the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
Bryce Brock, Landon Jordan and Eric Cerantola reunite as members of the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League with Cerantola also representing his home country of Canada at the Pan American Games in Peru July 26-Aug. 11. Josh Hatcher is also playing in the Perfect Game Collegiate League with the Utica Blue Sox.
Outfielder Hunter Blalock got a jump start on his summer after redshirting this past season. Entering Monday, Blalock was hitting .275 with two doubles, one home run, six RBIs and two stolen bases for the Strasburg Express of the Valley Baseball League.
SEVERAL TURN PRO
Several underclassmen that were picked in last month’s MLB Draft have elected to sign professional contracts instead of returning to State.
First-rounder Ethan Small inked a $1.8 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers while fellow pitcher Colby White agreed to a $197,500 deal with the Tampa Bays Rays as a sixth-rounder.
The Colorado Rockies signed both Trysten Barlow ($125,000) and Keegan James ($70,000) after drafting the pitchers in the 16th and 25th rounds respectively.
Catcher Dustin Skelton is also expected to sign with the Miami Marlins after being selected in the 18th round.
Mississippi State signees Jake Randa inked with the Washington Nationals for $300,000 while former Smithville standout Jared Johnson signed with the Atlanta Braves for $257,500. Sixth-rounder Ethan Hearn (Chicago Cubs) and 15th-rounder Andre Tarver (San Diego Padres) are still in negotiations.
MORE MOVING ON
A few MSU players may be missing from roster when the team reports back to campus for the fall.
Former Ripley and Northeast Community College standout Tucker Childers leads a group of players who have entered the transfer portal along with infielder Gunner Halter, outfielder Basiel Williams and pitcher Tyler Spring.
Reliever Kale Breaux has already announced his departure to McNeese State as a graduate transfer.
Pitcher JT Ginn garnered his fifth Freshman All-American honor, this time from D1Baseball.com.
Ginn was also recognized as a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He was also selected the Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game and the Freshman Co-Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The right-hander from Brandon went 8-4 in 17 starts and struck out 105 and only walked 19 in 86 1/3 innings.
Ole Miss pitcher Doug Nikhazy was also picked as first team Freshman All-American by D1Baseball.com.