- Name: Alex Pener
- Classification: Sophomore
- Position: 1B
- Ht: Wt: 6-foot-2, 205
- Bats-Throws: S-R
- Community College: Scottsdale (AZ) Community College
- High School: Blue Valley Northwest (MO) High School
- Schools of Interest: Mississippi State, New Mexico and others
Mississippi State officially got involved with Pener's recruitment a few weeks ago.
"(Mississippi State assistant) Coach (Will) Coggin texted me about four or five weeks ago and told me that they were interested in me and asked me if he could call me," said Pener. "When he texted me I was obviously excited to talk to them and see exactly what they had planned for me. He said they wanted me to come down for an official visit and there was no hesitation."
He visited this past weekend and had a great experience.
"I come from a pretty big city and the town was a little smaller than I expected but it was extremely nice," said Pener. "Everybody in the town were extremely welcoming. The players and coaching staff were very welcoming. I couldn't have felt more at home right away. The facilities were top-notch. I don't think I have seen that anywhere else. The Palmeiro Center was absolutely unbelievable, the way they practice in there then go straight to the field. It was an experience watching that."
He also came away very impressed with the coaching staff.
"The coaches were great," said Pener. "We went to dinner eat nigh and they were very talkative. My dad was with me and they were very nice to him."
He felt the feedback that he received from a couple of the Mississippi State players was very helpful in understanding what Mississippi State baseball is all about.
"My host was Jake Mangum and he was awesome," said Pener. "He gave me what I thought was an extremely honest opinion of the school. He had decommitted from Alabama and said it was the best decision that he had ever made. Also, a kid from my hometown, Ryan Cyr, who played at my rival school, said this is the place to be if you are serious about baseball. That is me, I am going to a school where baseball will be a big part of my time there. It is going to be a big part of my life."
Another thing he liked was how serious everybody was about baseball.
"My overall thoughts on the program is they take baseball extremely serious," said Pener. "And that is exactly how I am. They have fun when they are out there but when it is time to buckle down, they have no problem doing that. That shows with their record. And you just watch them for five minutes you can tell every single player is focused. They were just playing a scrimmage and it was like a war out there. It was a joy to watch because that is how I play."
Pener has at least one more official visit planned and then he will either choose a school among the two he visits or, possibly, take another visit or two.
"That was my first visit," said Pener. "I have one more scheduled for this weekend at UNM, the University of New Mexico. I am also being recruited by Alabama, although I haven't been talking to them much. Also, Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, and a few others are recruiting me. But right now the only planned visits that I have are Mississippi State and UNM. Those are the two schools that have really been pushing hard. They have really said that they want me, like I am the guy. And both teams are really great.
"But Mississippi State left quite an impression on me."
As a freshman, he hit .321 with 11 home runs and 48 RBI in a wood bat conference. He earned 2016 NJCAA Division II 2nd-Team All-American honors and he was also chosen to the All-ACCAC Baseball Team as a 1st Team selection.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network.