Gregory To Serve As Analyst For MSU Men's Basketball; Crowder Assumes Play-By-Play Duties For Lady Bulldogs
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State finalized its radio broadcast crews for both the men's and women's basketball teams on Thursday with the announcement that Bart Gregory will join Jim Ellis in the Bulldogs booth, while Jason Crowder will take over the play-by-play duties for the Lady Bulldogs.
The moves come following the retirement of the legendary Jack Cristil back in March, while also completing the restructuring of the broadcast teams. In April, it was announced that Matt Wyatt will join Ellis and sideline reporter John Correro as the analyst for football.
"Bart has been a valuable asset to our broadcast teams for more than a decade, and his experience behind the mic will make for a smooth transition," MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said. "At the same time, we are excited to have Jason join the Lady Bulldogs. While he is taking on a new role, he certainly isn't a stranger to Mississippi State athletics, having broadcast numerous games for various sports over the years."
Gregory, a native of Nanih Waiya, Miss., who graduated from Mississippi State in 1999, began his broadcast career at the University of West Alabama in 2000 before returning to his alma mater the following year. During that time, he has broadcast women's basketball, as well as select baseball and men's basketball games. The past two years, he's also served as a co-host of all MSU football pregame and postgame shows.
In addition to his radio responsibilities, Gregory currently serves as Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving, a position in the Bulldog Club he's held since 2008. He began work on the MSU campus in March of 2000 as an account representative, selling sponsorships for the Bulldogs Sports Network.
"I'm very grateful to Scott Stricklin and Don Williams of Bulldog Sports Properties for giving me this wonderful opportunity to live out a lifelong dream," Gregory said. "Words can't describe my excitement of getting to work with Jim Ellis, a great mentor and friend. To work with him is both a privilege and honor."
Crowder earned his broadcast journalism degree from MSU in 2003. For the past 10 years, he's been the sports director at MSU's flagship radio station, WFCA.
Since 2009, he's been the play-by-play announcer for East Miss Community College, while also filling in for Mississippi State doing play-by-play for baseball, softball and women's basketball the past two seasons.
"I'm honored, humbled and excited to have been given this opportunity with my alma mater," Crowder said. "It has been a life-long dream for me to be a part of the Mississippi State Radio Network."
"Bart did a great job calling play-by-play for our women's team, and I'm looking forward to having him join Jim Ellis to broadcast our games. Both are very professional and will be great working together." - MSU men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury.
"We are excited Jason will be joining the Mississippi State Radio Network. He has been a part of the Bulldog family for many years and has done a tremendous job when broadcasting games and promoting all of our sports. Jason has a passion for his work and we look forward to working with him this season." - MSU women's basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis.
"Bart has done a great job for the network the last two years in every role he has assumed. His enthusiasm and passion for all sports at Mississippi State is evident in his work. We hope to be able to add some innovative things to the broadcast this year taking advantage of Bart's talents. He and Jim will make a great team. Jason Crowder has been a great asset to all of us and did a tremendous job this past year when called upon to broadcast games for the Lady Bulldogs. We felt the time was right to reward him for his efforts. We are pleased to have him on our team." - Don Williams, general Manager for Bulldog Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for MSU athletics and a property of Learfield Sports.
OXFORD, Miss. - Freshman All-SEC selection Sam Lenahan hit an RBI single as Mississippi State saw its season come to an end with a heartbreaking 5-1 setback to No.4 Alabama in Thursday night's quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Oxford.
The Bulldogs finish the season 24-32 overall and 10-18 in SEC play. Alabama improved to 45-7 and 19-6 in the league as it advanced to play Georgia in Friday's semifinal.
"It was a frustrating season overall with all of the injuries that forced us to shift our lineup around. It took us a while to get settled down, but once we did we started playing better softball later in the year," Mississippi State head coach Jay Miller said. "I was pleased with the way this team fought and got us back to the SEC Tournament. We just didn't get the job done early in the year to get that NCAA Tournament bid, but hopefully that's something we can take care of next year."
Senior Ali Bainbridge collected Mississippi State's other hit in the game. The single, which came in her final collegiate at-bat, put her at 200 hits for her illustrious MSU career.
Mississippi State had a chance to take the lead in the top of the first. UA starter Kelsi Dunne issued walks to Ali Bainbridge, Heidi Shape and Sam Lenahan, but the Dawgs were unable to get any runs across.
"We had some opportunities to get to Dunne when she wasn't sharp in the early innings. We had the bases loaded one inning and runners on in another, but we couldn't take advantage," Miller said. "I thought our team fought really hard, and Sam came through with a big base hit to give us the lead. We just couldn't hold it, and give credit to Dunne because she showed why she is the SEC Pitcher of the Year."
Alabama threatened in the bottom of the inning behind a pair of bunt singles from Kayla Braud and Jennifer Fenton. Bulldog starter Stephanie Becker avoided any damage as she got a pair of infield pop-ups and a ground ball to first to end the inning.
Becker was saddled with the loss to finish the season 7-11. She allowed five runs and nine hits while striking out four in the complete-game effort.
Dunne also went the distance for UA, allowing a run and two hits while striking out 10 to improve to 24-3.
After failing to capitalize on the first-inning opportunity, the Bulldogs got another chance in the top of the third and made it count. Ka'ili Smith reached on a fielder's choice to spark the frame. Senior Courtney Nesbit followed with a walk, and Lenahan punched State's first hit of the game into center field to plate Smith with the game's first run.
Alabama tied the game in the bottom of the fourth behind a Whitney Larsen leadoff double. Two batters later, Jackie Traina walked, and a wild pitch advanced the pair. Larsen scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Jazlyn Lunceford.
Larsen struck again in the fifth, giving Alabama its first lead with a two-out home run. Becker retired the first two hitters she faced in the inning before back-to-back singles put Braud and Fenton on base. Larsen then put Alabama ahead 4-1 as her home run to center field went just beyond the leaping glove of MSU outfielder Brittany Gates.
Lunceford scored Alabama's final run as she tripled off the top of the wall in center field to open the sixth before coming home on a Kaila Hunt sacrifice fly.