Mississippi State will host Alabama in a fall baseball matchup this Friday at 5 p.m. CT, and there are several storylines buzzing around the returning National Champions of the college baseball world.
Obviously, Mississippi State will be without some of its most legendary producers in the program’s history this year in Tanner Allen, Rowdey Jordan and Josh Hatcher. It is no secret that Hatcher was somewhat absent at the plate this past season, but he still contributed to MSU in numerous ways.
One of the players that MSU needs to take that next step this year is veteran infielder Luke Hancock. Hancock made the jump to first base late in the year last year and held down the spot all the way through the team’s championship run. He had this to say about his team and what it was like on their return to Starkville.
“I feel like for most of us it was a week after (we won) until we started thinking about this year. I mean the first day of fall we didn’t ever talk about it, coach (Lemonis) never mentioned it and we just got to work. He just said that’s (winning the title) always the goal, but we have to turn the page…we’re just looking forward to this year.”
Another storyline is that of Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon’s words on Alabama radio station 100.9 this past offseason, where he stated the following:
“You look at Mississippi State winning a national championship last year, I mean basically if you have a heartbeat, you can get in-state tuition there, because there’s really no reason to go to Starkville unless it’s for sports.”
Understandably, that got the attention of some people here in Starkvegas, and Bohannon’s words did make it to the ears of MSU head coach Chris Lemonis.
“I’m sure he’s talking…thinking he’s off record, I mean as coaches we get on record and we get off record…I love Starkville, Mississippi. It cracks me up a lot of times in recruiting when people try to knock us and say ‘it’s a small town’ or whatever it is, but aren’t most SEC towns small country towns?”
Some food for thought as Alabama rolls into the Dude for some fall baseball action this Friday. Basketball Cowbell Yell follows at 7 p.m. CT and it will all be capped off by this weekend’s football game against the Tide, kicking off at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday.