Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

1-on-1 With Sophomore Ryan Gridley

Mississippi State sophomore infielder Ryan Gridley talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

You appear to have an air of confidence about yourself. Is that something that you were born with or is it something that you developed over time?
"I feel like if you don't have confidence then you shouldn't be here. You really shouldn't be here if you don't any confidence in yourself. Think about it, the guys who don't have any confidence are the ones who don't make it. Every guy who you play against thinks he is better than you. And if you don't think you are better than him, then you are going to fail."

Luke Alexander is the other shortstop. How have you helped him during his freshman season? He is competing for the same job that you have but he is your teammate.
"Regardless if someone is competing for the same job, we are teammates. It is my obligation to help him. I go through signs with him, just making sure that we are ready when we get into a game regardless of who is playing. Obviously we want to the team to win. It is not about ourselves."

How do you feel you have improved both offensively and defensively?
"I feel like I am ready to catch the ball out front more on a fastball. I am really aggressive in the counts early. Last year it was more like I see it and then react. Now I am going to be ahead of the ball, be ready for it. Also, having competed against really good pitching last year has really helped me."

This pitching staff may have the best group of arms that I have ever seen at MSU. How much does facing them in practice everyday help your hitting?
"It really helps me because I don't think we are going to see better than that. I know that I can hang with those guys even if they are throwing 95, 97, whatever, because I have already seen it."

Why do you think this year will be a lot better than last season?
"We have tasted what it feels like to be the worst. So, we are never going to allow that to happen again. I feel like last year, everything that happened to us will help us this year, drive us toward being the best."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network.

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