1-on-1 With Senior OF Jake Vickerson

Mississippi State senior outfielder Jake Vickerson talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

  • Name: Jake Vickerson
  • Position: OF
  • Class: Senior
  • HT: WT: 5-foot-9, 185
  • Bats-Throws: L-R
  • High School: Hillcrest (AL) High School Junior College: Shelton State (AL) Community College

  • Last season was your first at Mississippi State. You had a good season, then went out and played summer ball and did really well. What did you learn during the spring that carried over to the summer?
    "Toward the end of the year we worked on some (hitting) things with my backside with Coach Cohen. We continued to work on my approach this summer, trying not to roll over to the side of my backside, just get some energy going up the middle, and try to stick with that. I learned a few things from my (summer league) coaches and that helped out a lot."

    You were working on some things but you also hit really well, hitting .323 for the summer. Did that surprise you?
    "I wouldn't say it surprised me. Toward the end of the (regular season) I felt a lot more comfortable. I just wanted to continue doing that. And playing everyday helps because you aren't having to worry about school. You are just playing baseball everyday. And I really enjoyed that part of it."

    Do you feel like you accomplished what you wanted to during the summer?
    "Yeah, I wanted to work on my defense, keep getting better at that. But I really wanted to work on my offensive game, bunting, things like that. And I think I was able to do that."

    Speaking of bunting, are you going to try and bunt more this coming season, maybe use your speed more during the season?
    "Definitely. I felt like last year I could have kept myself from getting into some funks if I could have bunt for a hit every now and then, not just have to go up there and swing all of the time. I was able to do that this summer because I worked on bunting a lot with my coach. With the west coast guys bunting is a big deal to them. That was a good skill that I was able to pick up."

    You have good speed. Are you also going to try and steal more bases this coming season?
    "I am definitely going to try to (steal) more bags this year. I just want to put myself into a position to help the team whenever I can. Obviously, with guys like (Jacob) Robson he is going to be taking bags. We need guys like that."

    How did you handle playing so much? What I mean by that is you played a lot of games during the spring, then went to summer ball and played a lot of game there. How did you keep from being wore down from playing so much baseball?
    "There were a few days when it seemed to drag on but Cody walker just worked out a lot with a guy out there. Plus, we didn't play everyday. Our coach gave us at least one off-day a week. So, it wasn't too bad."

    This is your second fall at Mississippi State. How is it different for you this fall now that you have one under your belt?
    "I am a lot more comfortable. I know all of the guys who are back. And I know the speed of things now. I felt like last year, with school and everything else, I wasn't used to the pace. This year, it is a lot more relaxing and a lot more comfortable."

    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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