"I committed to Mississippi State last night," said Pilkington. "I called Coach Butch (Thompson) and I talked to him about five minutes and I told him that I was ready to be a Bulldog. He was fired up about it. I then told Coach Cohen and he was excited about it and said he was ready to get me back on campus. For me, it was crazy as it was happening. I still don't believe it."
He explained why he cast his lot with the Bulldogs.
"I have always wanted to go to Mississippi State University," said Pilkington. "It has always been my priority college, my dream school. I just like it so much up there. They have a winning tradition and have been to the College World Series a lot of times. Trey Porter, who is from our school, went there. He told me how great of a school it is."
Mississippi State has been recruiting Pilkington for several years.
"I think they started recruiting me my freshman year," said Pilkington. "I went to a State camp and they saw me pitch. I guess that is when it started. We stayed in touch since then. They watched me through the years. I kept working hard and it finally paid off."
He gave the reasons why MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson liked him enough to offer him the chance to be a Bulldog.
"I think (Coach Thompson) really likes my build and he feels that I'm projectable," said Pilkington. "I'm 6-foot-2, 205, and I'm still just 16. I will still be 17-years-old when I graduate."
He also has outstanding movement on his mid to upper 80s fastball.
"I have a lot of armside movement," said Pilkington. "Some games the movement is hard to control. You have to find out where your armslot needs to be so you can put the ball over the plate. I have topped out 90 miles per hour one time against West Jones. I think I stayed at 87-88 that game. But most of the year I stayed at 85-86."
He chose MSU over several other schools that were recruiting him.
"I was also recruited by Ole Miss, Southern (Miss), South Alabama, Samford, and Southeastern Louisiana," said Pilkington.
In addition to being highly thought of by college coaches, he's also highly thought of by pro scouts.
"Sunday I am going to Miami to play with the Marlins national scout team for six weeks," said Pilkington.
This past season, Pilkington was 9-2 with a 1.01 ERA. He allowed 27 hits, walked 21 and struck out 104 batters in 62.2 innings. In 8 of his 11 appearances he allowed no more than 2 hits, including 1 no-hitter where he struck out 18 against Pascagoula. Teams hit .118 against him.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.