Baseball Notes: Shepherd Signs, Bulldogs Finish High

Outfielder Jaron Shepherd is set to begin his pro baseball career after signing with the Colorado Rockies, MSU announced today.

Shepherd has already reported to Pasco, Wash., where he will debut tonight for the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League. They’ll be playing the Boise Hawks.

Shepherd, the sixth former Bulldog to sign a pro deal this summer, batted .289 with four home runs, 29 RBIs, 31 runs and 12 stolen bases this past season. His speed and glove were a huge plus in right field.

He was 6 of 23 (.261) with a double and three RBIs in NCAA regional and super regional play.

• MSU has finished with a No. 15 ranking in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches poll, which was released today. That’s the Bulldogs’ highest season-ending ranking since 2007, which was the last time they reached the College World Series.

MSU (38-25) got within eight outs of a ninth CWS appearance but lost to Florida in Game 3 of the Gainesville Super Regional. As I wrote on Monday, MSU was part of the SEC’s postseason dominance: State, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Vanderbilt went a combined 22-0 against non-SEC foes in the postseason. Carolina beat UF in the CWS finals.

Baseball America, the poll used by the Daily Journal, has not yet released its final rankings. The only other SEC team in the ESPN/USA Today rankings is Arkansas, at No. 23.</p>