Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Brent Rooker Talks About This Year's Success

Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker talks about the success this year's team is having.

What kind of confidence does the team have right now after winning two of three from Florida?
"We have been confident all year. We have beaten a lot of good teams. Oregon was a big series for us, Vanderbilt was, too. Georgia and Ole Miss were good teams. So, we had a lot of confidence going down to Florida and we thought we were the better team. We thought we would compete with them and we did that. I think we proved to anyone who doubted us that we are a really good team."

Your team lost the first game. Did you get together and talk about it?
"No, that is the good thing about this team. You lose a game and there is really no need for a big rah, rah pump up speech. You lose a game and everybody still knows that we are really good. We have as good of players as anybody in the country. We have as much competitiveness as anybody in the country. We never doubt ourselves."

How balanced and deep is the lineup right now?
"It is unbelievable. You have guys not playing for us right now that would start on 11 or 12 other SEC teams, me being one of those guys. I had some games that I didn't start in but I came in off of the bench and got some big hits. And some other games I didn't play at all. We have Jacob Robson, the best centerfielder in America, get hurt and Jake Mangum, a freshman, steps in. That is for sure one of our strengths."

Does it get frustrating not getting to play everyday or is it exciting to know that your team has that kind of talent?
"It is exciting. You look around and see that every single guy on this team is a really good baseball player who knows how to compete and knows how to win. The best thing that we have on our team right now is that we have 35 guys on our roster who are completely unselfish, who are completely sold on this team and will do anything it takes to win a national championship. That is what makes this team so special."

What is it like on the bench and in the clubhouse?
"I am being honest when I say this but if you are not in our dugout you can't understand it. It is so upbeat, so positive all of the time. Guys are having fun. I have never been around a team that has this much fun playing baseball, that has this much fun being together. When you have 35 guys who are completely ego less and only care about the success of the team that is how it is going to be like on the bench and in the clubhouse. It is the most unbelievable thing that I have ever been a part of."

When did you see the chemistry start to develop, in the fall?
"It started in the fall, for sure. Just being around each other everyday and during workouts, practices, scrimmage, that is when it started. But it really got real in the spring. When you are all in the dugout playing for the same team against another team that is when it starts to really click."

What is it like being on a team this successful after being on last year's team?
"It is a completely different feeling. For the guys who were here last year it is refreshing. One of the things that we have emphasized this year is we are not going to talk about last season because that is over."

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

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