Heck Leading Bulldog Charge

Seth Heck is a name that Bulldog fans learned pretty early in 2014. The junior college transfer came in and won the job and the pressure to replace fan favorite Adam Frazier. Heck proved to be more than a capable replacement hitting near .300 and earning a spot in the SEC All-Defensive team in just his first year in the league. Now a known commodity, Heck is ready for even bigger things.

Growing up in the Pacific-Northwest, Heck a native of Edmonds, Washington, dreamed of a potential Pac-12 baseball career. After an All-Star stint at Tacoma Community College, the sure handed short stop made his way to Dudy Noble and the Southeastern Conference.

While the move to Mississippi has been beneficial to both Mississippi State and the senior middle infielder, Starkville was not really on the radar in Heck's early college deliberations.

When asked if he ever expected to be on John Cohen's team, Heck replied, "Definitely not. Even the best of the best of the guys that I grew up around that went on to big careers in the Pac-12 or guys who became first rounders never got the chance to play in the SEC. That's just sort of how recruiting works and the regions that schools recruit.

"I am not saying those guys weren't great players, because they are great players. They just weren't blessed with this opportunity. They may not have had someone to come and see them play and have the chance to play in the SEC.

"It's just been an honor to come down here and play. It's been pretty special."

As a newcomer to the program last spring, Heck came in looking to earn his stripes. Now a proven contributor, coaches and fans alike expect #18 to produce. The senior standout reports that he has had no time to relax. With scouting reports out there now, Heck has to continue to improve and work even harder to be a better player than he was a season ago.

"Other teams now have a year's worth of scouting reports and film now," Heck said. "Now they all have more ways to attack me. They have seen perceived weaknesses in me and things they think they can get me out with.

"It is going to be a fun year to be able to battle against these great teams and these great pitching coaches. I have to make adjustments along the way and I think that is the key to success."

Opponents are not the only ones looking to change and improve as the season begins. Heck has worked hard in the off season to shore up his own abilities and become a tougher out.

"I went out to Minnesota and played and I struggled a little bit," Heck admitted. "It could have been for a number of reasons. I came back this fall and I tweaked a couple of things in my swing, nothing huge.

"There were a few things I did to get more power and get more behind the ball. I wanted to be more consistent with my swing and be better with two strikes. In the long run, you don't want to change a whole lot. You don't want to fix something that is not broken.

"I think having last year under my belt and just having more of a comfort level will help me most of all."

Heading into the 2015 conference slate, Heck believes that this Mississippi State team could prove to be a real contender on both the SEC and National landscape.

"I think we can be pretty good," Heck said. "After having a year to see what other teams have and what SEC play is like, I think this team stacks up pretty well. We have some young guys and some guys that are unproven, but from what we have seen in the fall and what I have seen on a daily basis, I think we have the chance to be really good."


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