Freshman second baseman Jeffrey Rea (3-for-5, 1 RBI)
Your hitting has really picked up the last few games. Is that because you have gotten used to college pitching?
"I'm trying to lay off the late-in-the-count breaking stuff; hit my pitch and not theirs. I was pushing, getting off my front foot a lot. I was trying to do too much when I needed to stay back and go the other way."
Why were you trying to do too much?
"I guess I was nervous the first week but I'm starting to calm down."
Did you guys understand what was going on when the crowd would yell out during the game? (The crowd was listening to radios and watching tvs keeping up with the MSU-Alabama basketball game.-Gene)
"(Laugh) I don't know if you saw Steve (Gendron). He was tipping the hat to the crowd. But, yeah, we figured it out after about the third time. We knew it had to be the basketball team. That's great for them to win the SEC Championship. Maybe we can follow that up."
Has it taken time to adjust to the position you are in the lineup?
"It was big batting leadoff because I have never batted leadoff before. I've had to take a lot more pitches than I usually do. I usually like to swing first pitch fastball. Now, I'm having to hit late in the count so we can get the pitchers to get their pitch counts up."
You have a veteran in Steve Gendron next to you on the infield. That has to help you in the field.
"It helps out a lot having a senior right beside me. Steve helps me with communication."
Sophomore starting pitcher Jamie Gant (W 2-0, 6 IP, 2 H, 7 SO, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER)
Talk about your outing today.
"I wanted to build on my last outing when I wasn't as efficient as I wanted to be. Coach Rock and I talked about that and decided that I needed to throw less pitches, make them put it in the play and let the defense work."
Do you feel you were more efficient today?
"I felt like I was a lot more efficient. I had much better command of all my pitches."
Are you now comfortable as a starter?
"I am. I am used to the pre-game routine and I have learned how to pace myself and know when to make adjustments."
Once again the offense produced a lot of runs.
"It has been easy pitching because you come out and they are going to score double-digit runs just about every game. It takes a lot of pressure off of you when you know your offense is going to score some runs behind you."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.