SOMEWHERE IN FLORIDA | We’re on the road back to Mississippi, so let’s wrap up the weekend that was and look ahead a little bit. Got some links for you.
• MSU’s season came to an end Sunday with a 3-2 loss to Samford in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional (CLICK HERE). The level of disappointment among coach John Cohen and players at the postgame press conference was quite evident. A big question is whether this season could be considered a disappointment.
Perhaps more the way it ended was discouraging, for certain. It’s a topic I’ll tackle later this week. But back to yesterday’s game, MSU struggled with its short game, something at which it normally excels (CLICK HERE). And, as has so often been the case this season, the big hits just never came.
Cohen said after the game that he believes next year’s team will be among the top 10 or 15 in the country, because he feels the pitching will again be strong and that the offense will improve.
“Yeah, I feel like we’re finally where we want to be in terms of our roster,” he said.
• MSU won’t lose a lot of players off this year’s roster, but it will be tough to replace Chris Stratton. The junior right-hander is expected to be selected in the first round of the Major League Draft tonight (CLICK HERE), and it would be surprising if he didn’t sign and begin his professional career.
Stratton has deflected questions about his intentions, but it’s hard to imagine him returning. Even so, there are plenty of good options for the weekend rotation, including Ben Bracewell, Kendall Graveman and Brandon Woodruff.
• The Tallahassee Regional’s all-tournament team was announced, and MSU put four players on it:Second baseman Matthew Britton, shortstop Adam Frazier, first baseman Wes Rea and catcher Mitch Slauter.
• Hey, it’s only 88 days until football season, something I’m sure Dan Mullen will be reminding people of when he resumes the Our State Tour in Birmingham at 6 p.m. today. He’ll be in Tupelo on Tuesday (6 p.m., BancorpSouth Conference Center) and Houston, Texas, on Thursday (6 p.m.). The tour will make its final stop July 19 in Jackson.
• Several football freshmen have arrived at MSU and begin classes today. I don’t yet have an official number on how many of the signees are on campus, but I hope to have that soon.