MSU Baseball Signees Update

With a baseball signing class that has two pitchers who could be very high draft picks in the June pro draft and several outstanding hitters, Gene's Page checked in with most of the players last night to find out how their seasons are going.

Drew Hollinghead - Drew, who is a 6-3, 200-pound right-hand pitcher for Greene County (MS) High School, is currently 7-1 on the year. Throwing in the mid to high-80's, Drew has helped lead his team to the first-round of the playoffs. Also a good hitter, Drew is hitting approximately .350 with 8 home runs.

Matt Lea - Although I wasn't able to get in touch with Matt (Houston HS in Germantown, TN., R/R, 6-5, 215), I did locate his stats. Considered by pro scouts as one of the top players in the nation, Matt is currently 3-1 on the year. Matt has thrown 28 2/3 innings, allowed 20 hits, walked 11 and struck out 32. Teams are hitting .190 against him. And his earned run average is 3.42 per 7 innings. He has also stood out at the plate, batting .457 with a slugging percentage of .771 and 2 home runs and 14 RBI in his 35 at-bats. Numerous pro scouts are showing interest in Matt.

Ricky Bowen - A 6-3, 170-pound right-hand pitcher who plays for Sumiton Christian School in Jasper, AL., Ricky, who has faced mostly higher division teams this year, is currently 10-2 with an earned run average of 1.33 per 7 innings. He has allowed 48 hits and 16 walks in 68 innings, while striking out 84. Teams are hitting a miniscule .181 against him. A hard-thrower with a fastball that is in the 88-89 range, Ricky, who turns 18 on August 6th, has helped lead his team to the state playoffs. Although his high school season is not over, he has recorded 30 wins and 242 strikeouts during his career. Both stats put him in the top-10 of Alabama. He has received attention from several pro scouts, including the White Sox, Tampa Bay, the Phillies and the Yankees.

Brandon Turner - A middle infielder who can also play in the outfield, Brandon is currently hitting .507 for Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, TN. The 6-1, 175-pounder has also hit 3 home runs, 8 doubles, and knocked in 32 runs, while stealing 21 bases. The Brewers, Marlins and Cardinals are showing the most interest in him. In fact, the Cardinals are expected to scout his next game.

Ryan Duffy - Ryan, a catcher/first baseman who is 6-2 and weighs 200 pounds, has hit .400 this season with 3 home runs and 12 RBI in 45 at-bats. Invited to the prestigious Florida High School All-Star game, he is receiving attention from several pro scouts, including the Tigers who will be scouting him Friday night. Just to show you the quality hitter he is, he recorded two doubles off of Sarasota High School's Eric Erickson, a junior LHP who is being heavily recruited by numerous colleges, including LSU. Ryan plays for Barron Collier High School in Naples, FL.

Nick Hardy - A 6-1, 185-pound OF who plays for Meridian CC. I haven't been able to get Nick's stats.

Andy Rice - Andy, a 6-1, 190-pound OF/P who plays for Itawamba CC. He currently leads his team in home runs with 11.

Aaron Weatherford - A right-hand pitcher who is considered as one of the best pitchers in the nation, Aaron (6-0, 180, Fairhope HS in Alabama) is currently undefeated. He has recorded 110 strikeouts, while allowing just 5 earned runs and 8 walks in 63 innings. He also has thrown 8 complete game, including 1 one-hitter and 2 three-hitters. Aaron has been clocked as high as 97 miles per hour on a JUGS gun and 93 to 94 on the Stalker gun, although he consistently throws in the 89 to 92 mph range throughout the game. Normally, there are 6 to 10 pro scouts at each of his games, with a high of as many as 24 to 25. With attention like that, the pro draft is certainly a consideration. According to his dad, Stan Weatherford, Aaron, "would have to go in the upper rounds," for that to be a consideration. Right now, according to his dad, their, "comfort zone is to go to Mississippi State." Stan also said they are very, very impressed with the quality of the coaches at MSU, which appears to be a huge factor in MSU's favor. Like all of the other signees, Aaron is an excellent student in the classroom, which is another factor in MSU's favor when it comes to going to college or going pro.

Cade Hoggard - Cade, a 6-2.5, 210-pound RHP/IB from Oxford (MS) High School, is currently 6-0 as a pitcher on the year. He is leading his team in hitting with a .468 batting average, while hitting 7 home runs and knocking in 42 runs.He also has walked 23 times and hit 10 doubles. He has already received one honor this year, being named to the Diamond Crossroads All-Star baseball game.

Russ Sneed - Russ, a 6-3, 190-pound INF/RHP who plays for Magnolia Heights in Senatobia, MS., is currently hitting .447 with 2 home runs and 17 RBI. Throwing in the 88 to 90 mph range, he has won 4 games while losing 1 with 54 strikeouts and an earned run average in the 1.50 range. Russ' team faced Pillow Academy about a week ago. He was 1-for-3 against Pillow's hard-throwing RHP Louis Coleman. Three or four pro scouts have watched Russ play this season. According to his dad, Jimmy Sneed, MSU head coach Ron Polk is impressed enough with his athletic ability that he feels Russ can play several positions. BTW, yesterday was Russ' birthday.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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