Mississippi State right-hander Chris Stratton has been named the SEC pitcher of the week, but that's not all. He's also been named a national player of the week by Louisville Slugger. (There were six in all, CLICK HERE).
This isn't surprising. The junior from Tupelo took the mound at LSU on Friday and tossed a gem, striking out a career-high 17 in 8 2/3 innings. Stratton yielded just one run on four hits and struck out every LSU starter at least once.
His strikeout total was the most by an MSU pitcher since 1992, and he leads the SEC in that category with 44.
Despite his efforts, MSU lost in 10 innings, 3-2, so Stratton got a no-decision. For the season, he's 4-0 with 2.12 ERA. This was his first start of the season, as Stratton has normally been the first guy out of the bullpen on Fridays behind Ben Bracewell.
But Bracewell is battling elbow soreness and has missed two consecutive starts. Ross Mitchell got the start last Friday, but with SEC play cranking up, coach John Cohen turned to the more experienced Stratton, who was a weekend starter until late last season. His last start had been May 21, 2011 – against LSU (he took the loss at home).
In two career starts at Alex Box Stadium, Stratton has allowed one run on seven hits with 24 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. He closed out the 2009 season at LSU with a strong outing.