MSU named Most Valuable Program

John Cohen's club was named the Most Valuable Program for its efforts this summer. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

John Cohen’s club was named the Most Valuable Program for its efforts this summer. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State baseball and head coach John Cohen were presented with the 2015 National Alliance of College Summer Baseball Most Valuable Program Award, the organization announced Thursday night. The award, presented annually at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention, honors the college baseball program considered to be the most valuable to the NACSB.

The NACSB had 845 institutions send more than 3,800 players across the country this past summer, with MSU being named the top school as a result of the quantity and quality of players assigned to affiliated NACSB leagues. Of the 21 players from the 2016 MSU roster which competed this past summer, 11 earned All-Star honors. Two of those 11 were named Most Valuable Player in their respective league.

Cohen’s 13 hitters combined to hit .316 in 438 total games, going 463 for 1464 with 241 RBIs, 86 doubles, 13 triples and 31 home runs. On the mound, MSU’s nine pitchers recorded a 2.13 ERA in 292 innings with 251 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP.

Sophomore Brent Rooker was named MSU’s Hitter of the Summer by Cohen after winning MVP honors in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The 2016 team captain and NECBL All-Star was also named the 2015 NECBL Most Improved Player after leading the league in hits (59), runs scored (36), home runs (10) and RBIs (33). Rooker finished his summer with promotion to the Brewster Whitecaps in the CCBL.

Junior Dakota Hudson was named MSU’s Pitcher of the Summer by Cohen after being placed on the 2015 Cape Cod Baseball League Year-End All-League Team. The 2016 team captain finished fifth in the league in strikeouts (41) and ERA (41). As a result, the righty has been listed as a top-20 college prospect for the 2016 MLB Draft by Baseball America, D1 Baseball and Perfect Game.

After having 276 former players on Major League Baseball rosters in 2014, the CCBL featured a school-record eight Diamond Dawgs this past summer. State’s five pitchers on the Cape totaled a 2.24 ERA in 204 2/3 innings pitched. Hudson and Vance Tatum (1.93 regular season ERA) led the Hyannis Harbor Hawks to the CCBL Western Division championship and their first appearance in the league championship series since 2000.

Hudson (Aug. 10) and junior righty Austin Sexon (July 27) both earned CCBL Pitcher of the Week honors. Sexton’s teammate on the Cotuit Kettleers, left-hander Daniel Brown, tied for sixth in the league with a 1.80 ERA.

Junior right-hander Zac Houston also dominated on the Cape, registering a 1.68 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings pitched. The Poplarville, Mississippi, native held hitters to a microscopic .155 average at the plate. As a result, Houston was named a top-70 college prospect for the 2016 MLB Draft by Baseball America.

Offensively in the CCBL, the Bourne Braves duo of Jacob Robson and Reid Humphreys both had stellar campaigns. Robson was named a starter in the CCBL All-Star Game in addition to being named CCBL Player of the Week July 6. The outfielder hit .318 in 30 regular season games, while Humphreys batted .276 in 145 total at-bats. Humphreys, who ranked fifth in the league with five home runs, finished the summer hitting .404 with 14 RBIs in his final 15 games.

Away from the Cape, infielders Luke Reynolds and Cole Gordon were both selected All-Stars in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League on their way to leading the Lima Locos to the league championship. Gordon was named to the All-GLSCL First Team after winning the GLSCL batting title with a .400 average in 75 at-bats. The redshirt freshman finished second in the league with seven home runs, while Reynolds hit .344 in 128 at-bats and tied for sixth in the league with 29 runs and 12 doubles on his way to second-team honors.

Also earning all-star accolades were infielder John Holland in the California Collegiate League, outfielder Cody Brown and first baseman Nathaniel Lowe in the Cal Ripken League, outfielder Tanner Poole (MVP) and right-hander Ryan Rigby in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League, catcher Josh Lovelady in the Perfect Game League and right-hander Logan Elliot in the Sunbelt League.

Opening Day for MSU at Dudy Noble Field is Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, where first pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT against Florida Atlantic.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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