1-on-1 With Sophomore RHP Austin Sexton

Mississippi State sophomore right-hand pitcher Austin Sexton talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

  • Name: Austin Sexton
  • Position: RHP
  • Class: Sophomore
  • HT: WT: 6-foot-1, 180
  • Bats-Throws: R-R
  • High School: Sparkman (AL) High School

  • What did you work on during summer league play?
    "The main thing for me was working with my fastball, being able to throw in the zone when I wanted to. I had a little command issue my freshman year and that was what kept me from pitching more than I would have liked to. So, going into the summer the main thing for me was working on my fastball. And that is what I did, I threw a lot of fastballs."

    Do you feel like you accomplished what you wanted to do during the summer?
    "I threw it well. When you get ahead it's a lot easier to stay ahead. Getting ahead with the fastball made everything easier."

    Staying ahead in the count was something that you really worked hard on, wasn't it?
    "Yes sir, it was all about location for me and being able to throw strikes early and often. And I think I got a little bit better at it."

    You started out in the Great Lakes League and ended up pitching in the Cape Cod League. That is a big adjustment because in the Cap Cod almost every hitter is an SEC-caliber hitter. What was it like pitching in the Cape Cod League?
    "I was pumped about it. I threw three times, all relief. I did well in the three outings. And like you said, it was like pitching in the SEC because top to bottom you have nine good hitters. In the Great Lakes League you had 3 or 4 like that. It was good to be back in that type competition."

    Going from being a starter in the Great Lakes League to being a reliever in the Cap Cod League, how did you handle that adjustment?
    "I was in relief a lot this past spring season so I kind of knew what I needed to do and how to prepare. Due to that, it wasn't anything new for me."

    Butch Thompson talked to every pitcher during the summer. What did you and he talk about?
    "We talked about my outings. I would call him every Monday. My day in the rotation in the Great Lakes League was on Saturday. So, I would talk to him about my outing, what I did well on and and what I needed to adjust. He would then tell me what to work on."

    I see you as a pitcher who will continue to add velocity due to your body type. You are already about 6-foot-1 but still have a lot of room to add more weight. Did you gain weight this past summer?
    "Yeah, I gained about 10 to 15 pounds this summer. I weigh about 180 now."

    Did you see any added velocity this summer due to that gain in weight and strength?
    "Yeah, but I really saw more consistency. I touched a couple of 93s and touched 94 once. Consistently, I was probably 88 to 91, and would get a couple of 92s pretty often."

    How deep into the game did you maintain that type velocity?
    "Normally, I would start out slow. I was just trying to get ahead and stay ahead, set the momentum for the game. If I got into a rhythm, then I would try to throw a little harder."

    You have a great changeup. Did you use it a lot during the summer?
    "In the Cape it was a little different. Obviously, you can't come in and throw fastballs by the hitters in that league. In the Great Lakes League I worked on throwing the fastball where I wanted to. And I was able to get away with a little stuff, but, at the same time, you are working on things you need to improve. In the Cape I was able to throw both for strikes. I would throw my changeup at any time in the count. It was a good pitch for me."

    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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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