Articles by Brett Hudson
STARKVILLE — The feeling around the Mississippi State baseball team was noticeably more optimistic Sunday following a 5-4 victory against Columbia and an 8-6 victory against South Alabama at Dudy Noble Field.
The victories helped MSU (10-6) improve to 6-5 in games decided by three or fewer runs.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State baseball coach Andy Cannizaro asked Brent Rooker at 6:30 a.m. Monday to do something he hadn’t done all season: play first base.
Rooker agreed because MSU’s injuries have expanded from its pitching staff to its position players.
STARKVILLE — Starting pitching has been a moving target for the Mississippi State baseball team through its non-conference schedule.
On most weekends, MSU coach Andy Cannizaro went into Fridays without announced plans for at least one slot in the rotation. This weekend, he ended Friday night with three games scheduled in the next two days and one starting pitcher decision made. The scheduling shuffle has been indicative of MSU’s struggles to find production and length on the mound.
STARKVILLE — Fresh off a year quarterbacking in NFL Europe and two more in the Arena Football League, Brett Elliott came to Starkville to work as an offensive quality control assistant for his former quarterbacks coach in college.
Back in 2004, current Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen saw the potential in Elliott when he coached the quarterback as an assistant coach for Urban Meyer at Utah. He saw that same promise when Elliott was a member of his coaching staff from 2012-14.
STARKVILLE — It’s not easy to forget former Mississippi State wide receiver Fred Ross.
“It’s different not having that blond hair out there,” MSU wide receiver Donald Gray said.
Ross’ production also is unforgettable. His 72 catches for 917 yards and 12 touchdowns accounted for 31, 33, and 50 percent of the team’s 2016 production in those categories. Life without Ross in 2017 will be difficult on multiple fronts, but it won’t be lonely because the Bulldogs return multiple players at the position and will have several more coming off redshirt seasons to compete for playing time as Ross’ successor.
Even in hindsight, Wells Davis maintains his perspective.
Davis knows now, and knew at the time, the uphill battle a freshman faces to earn playing time in a South Alabama baseball program with eight NCAA tournament appearances in the last 16 years.
All of that withstanding, Davis expected to get more than four at-bats as a freshman.
STARKVILLE — In his first practices as Mississippi State’s safeties coach, Ron English has been understanding as he installs his schemes and the Bulldogs learn his processes.
STARKVILLE — When word got to Leo Lewis, he stopped to do some research.
From what Lewis heard, Todd Grantham was going to be the Mississippi State football team’s new defensive coordinator. Lewis, a linebacker, had a natural curiosity about Grantham and what scheme he planned to bring to Starkville.
He liked what he found.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Ben Howland can joke about the beginning of the season when he compares it to where his team is today.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons stepped into the office of the then-athletic director Scott Stricklin with no counterargument to offer.
STARKVILLE — Dalton and Dustin Skelton have only done this once.
Dalton, a junior infielder at Louisiana Tech, and his brother, Dustin, a freshman catcher at Mississippi State will play against each other for the second time in their lives at 4:30 p.m. today when Louisiana Tech (11-1) takes on MSU (7-5) at Dudy Noble Field.
STARKVILLE — It was barely thirty minutes after the end of a months-long season, and Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Ben Howland was already talking — excitedly so — about the next one.
STARKVILLE — Spring practice’s arrival was a godsend of sorts for Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald.
STARKVILLE — I.J. Ready’s final parting gift from Humphrey Coliseum was a net.
STARKVILLE — In previewing Saturday’s regular season finale against LSU, Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Ben Howland remarked it felt like, “an eternity,” since MSU’s last meeting with the Tigers.
Lee Boyd sees Carson Forrester’s best attribute as untapped potential; starting in the fall, that upside belongs to Mississippi Delta Community College.
Jason Crowder can’t help but laugh at his favorite Jim Ellis call, one the radio announcer made of the Burke Masters grand slam home run in 1990 that sent the Mississippi State Bulldogs baseball team to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
STARKVILLE — Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald took the field for Mississippi State first football practice of the spring and noticed something: absence.
STARKVILLE — On Saturday, Mississippi State senior guard I.J. Ready will take the court at Humphrey Coliseum for the final time. Before the game, his parents and his brother will join him — he hopes his grandparents and an uncle can make it to Starkville, too — for a pregame ceremony remembering his career in its final days.
STARKVILLE — Andy Cannizaro sees a lot of his own team in Oregon.