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Juco All-American first baseman Alex Pener commits to Mississippi State

Scottsdale (AZ) Community College All-American first baseman Alex Pener commits to Mississippi State baseball.

  • Name: Alex Pener
  • Classification: Sophomore
  • Position: 1B
  • Ht: Wt: 6-foot-0, 205
  • Bats-Throws: S-R
  • Community College: Scottsdale (AZ) Community College
  • High School: Blue Valley Northwest (KS) High School
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

Recruiting can be a lot of fun for student/athletes but it can also be difficult. The difficult part is making that final decision on which school to choose. In Pener's case that decision was actually an easy one.

"For it being a hard decision it was easy," said Pener. "It was definitely an easy decision because when a school like Mississippi State makes an offer it is something that you have to seriously think about. After a lot of thinking and a lot of evaluating I thought how could I not go there?"

He explained why it was so easy.

"During the last 24 hours I was obviously thinking about everything that happened over the weekend (during my official visit to Mississippi State) and everything that could happen this weekend at New Mexico (on my official visit there)," said Pener. "When I was walking around the field watching the players and talking to them I thought to myself that I just fit in here. These are my kind of people because they are exactly like me baseball and personality-wise. My personality when I wake up is what am I going to do baseball-wise? I thought where could I go that would be better than Mississippi State? I couldn't think of any place that could be better. New Mexico is a great program and has a lot to offer but what I saw at Mississippi State was exactly what I was looking for. And the offer they gave me was extremely generous and to turn it down would have been a big mistake."

When he woke up Tuesday morning and thought about it a little more he knew it was time to make his decision.

"When I got up this morning I thought to myself why should I spend more time with this situation when I knew where I wanted to go," said Pener? "So, I knew it was time to pull the trigger. Even though I had that recruiting trip planned to New Mexico I still felt it was the right decision."

He made the call prior to his team's baseball practice.

"I decided to call right before practice," said Pener "I was in my coach's office talking to him. I was thinking that I was going to call and he said if I felt (Mississippi State) was my place then I needed to go ahead and do it."

He called his recruiting coach, Mississippi State assistant coach Will Coggin.

"I called Coach Coggin," said Pener. "He was awesome about it. He said 'I told you you would know when you got here if this was the place for you.' And he was right, of course, because he has been there and he knows the type person that I am. He knew that I would fit in there. And once I got there I knew I would fit in.

"(Mississippi State head) Coach (John) Cohen called me tonight and was extremely excited about (my commitment). He was as excited as I was."

As a freshman, Pener 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 website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network.

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