So his on-base average, which not only was also best in the league for the season but in this case by a sizable margin, only improved further because Parks was also walked once. But the batting title hopes took a blow today as an official 0-for-2 afternoon leaves him at .3804 for the whole campaign to-date. Zunino was outed his first three appearances but singled in the last two, raising his average to .3835. Which puts him in first SEC place as Mahtook's four-places rate is .3827.
All three expect to face NCAA pitching next week as well.
GOING LONGER: 2B Nick Vickerson was the State slugging star Wednesday, with his two-run triple in the third inning and a leadoff home run in the sixth. It was his seventh shot of the season. Vickerson took a while to find the long range with these new bats, hitting just two homers in the first 41 games. But he's produced more pop down the season stretch.
And five of his homers have been with nobody out. The triple was his third of the season, after Vickerson did not notch a three-bagger all of 2010.
As a senior Vickerson is one of the Bulldogs making the most of their only chance at postseason play. He didn't endure quite as long a wait as classmates like DH/C Cody Freeman or 1B Ryan Collins who were around in 2008-09 as well. Still capping a career in tournament time is an ambition achieved, he said.
"It's really awesome to come here and we're really pleased with ourselves just to get to the postseason. We're not going to let this loss affect us, we going to come back tomorrow and try to beat a good team in Arkansas."
DOUBLE THE DIS-PLEASURE: Mississippi State has given up two grand slams this season. Both were to Florida, and at the expense of left-handed relievers. Back on April 9 it was Zunino slugging the four-run shot off Chad Girodo. This time it was the Gator swinging after him, Brian Johnson, collecting the slam off State's Luis Pollorena.
MSU-ELLANEOUS NOTES: CF C.T. Bradford has a seven-game hitting streak underway, with a pair of singles Wednesday…RHP Evan Mitchell followed up a 11-strikeout relief outing at Memphis with five fannings against Florida…Vickerson was unable to add to his stolen base total, still at 25; but Bradford did score his tenth theft of the season, in 16 attempts…Mitchell was charged with the only Bulldog error of the day, when he dropped the ball tripping on first base handling a Gator bunt. No run resulted from the play though…Florida's seventh-inning assault was an exception to State's trend for the season. The Bulldogs had out-scored opponents 50-25 in the seventh innings, with only the first (58-31) showing a larger differential…The loss was the first for State when scoring five or more runs since April 15 at Arkansas, a stretch of 13 wins in 21 games…The Bulldogs will be the home team Thursday against Arkansas…Nick Routt will start the elimination game. In his game-two start at Fayetteville back on April 16, he gave up all the runs on eight hits, in 3.0 innings, as the Razorbacks won 6-1.