News from MSU Media Relations--June 24

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Men's Tennis, Football and Baseball.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - In the 2011 USA F15 Futures tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, Bulldog tennis star Artem Ilyushin ousted former Ole Miss stand out Catalin Gard to advance to the quarterfinals today.

After breezing through the first round of play with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Mitchell Frank, Ilyushin faced a tough opponent in Gard heading into the second round.

Gard, the Galatia, Romania native, was ranked number one in the country during his 2005 campaign at Ole Miss. Currently, Gard is ranked 472nd in the world but has found himself as high as 224th in 2007.

However the statistics may prove, Ilyushin made no regard and took down the #5 seed Gard in an easy two-setter, 6-0, 6-2. Ilyushin is also competing in the semifinals of doubles action today.

Ilyushin will face Kiryk Harbatsiuk in the quarterfinals today followed by his doubles slate at 5 p.m.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State has sold every available season ticket for the 2011 football season, Mike Richey, Sr. Associate AD for Bulldog Club and Ticket Operations announced Friday. It represents the earliest announced sellout for football season tickets in school history.

Richey indicated 43,518 football season tickets had been sold through the close of business Friday, the final day Bulldog Club officials assigned seats to season ticket holders for the 2011 season. That season ticket figure, which includes 11,000 tickets sold annually to Mississippi State students, is approximately 200 more than a year ago when the school set its previous season ticket sales record.

"This is yet another shining example of the excitement surrounding our football program and unity of the Mississippi State family," director of athletics Scott Stricklin said. "Our fans have continued to build upon the momentum we have all created, and we're looking forward to another fantastic fall together."

The season ticket total represents a large renewal percentage from the '10 season, and approximately 100 additional orders from individuals on a first-ever waiting list for season tickets. The waiting list was addressed in Bulldog Club priority rank order and more than 600 names remain on the list.

Those who were not able to secure season tickets - those on the waiting list as well as members of the general public - may still purchase Mississippi State's three-game ticket plan, a $75 package that includes Louisiana Tech, UT-Martin and South Carolina. Only about 1,300 three-game packages remain available for sale. Individual game tickets for Bulldog Club members will go on sale July 18 for the three games in the package and the Egg Bowl.

"We have different arrangements with each of our opponents in terms of number tickets provided to the visiting school," Richey said. "Because of those differing numbers, we have additional tickets to some games that cannot be included in a season ticket package. These are the only tickets we have remaining at this time."

Those interested in purchasing the three-game package, individual game tickets, or who wish to add their name to the waiting list for future seasons may contact the MSU Ticket Office at 888-GO-DAWGS.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior right-hander Devin Jones has become the fifth member of MSU's 2011 NCAA Super Regional baseball team to sign a professional baseball contract.

The Eupora, Miss., native, a ninth-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, signed with Baltimore Friday afternoon. He will begin his pro career at the Orioles' training camp in Sarasota, Fla., and likely be assigned later to the Aberdeen (Md.) Ironbirds in the Class A New York-Penn League.

Jones posted a 2-5 record with a 4.37 earned run average in 19 appearances (59.2 innings pitched) in 2011. He closed out his career in impressive fashion with three innings of shutout relief work against top-ranked Florida in the championship game of the Gainesville Super Regional.

Two other Diamond Dogs selected in this month's draft, seniors Nick Vickerson (Texas Rangers) and Jarrod Parks (Los Angeles Angeles), have begun their professional baseball careers while two other MSU seniors, shortstop Jonathan Ogden and catcher Wes Thigpen, have also launched their pro careers after signing free agent contracts with the Detroit Tigers.

Senior outfielder Jaron Shepherd, a 33rd-round selection of the Colorado Rockies, has not yet completed a contract agreement with the Rockies.

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