MSU Juco Baseball Signees Earn All-American Status

Mississippi State's two junior college baseball signees, Itawamba Community College OF/LHP Andy Rice and his teammate RHP Jared Koon, were recently selected to the 2005 NJCAA Division II All-American team.

Andy Rice, a power-hitting sophomore-to-be outfielder with an outstanding arm, was not only selected to the first-team, but was also honored as the Easton Defensive Player of the Year, an award given to the Division's top defensive player. A hard-thrower whose fastball topped out in the 90's in high school prior to an arm injury, the left-handed Rice is also expected to pitch for the Bulldogs now that his arm has recovered.

Jared Koon, also a sophomore-to-be, earned 3rd team honors in just his first year of junior college ball. In addition to being named All-American, Baseball America, in their June 1st Draft Scouting Report, rated Koon the top junior college pitcher as well as the best overall juco player in the state of Mississippi. According to BA, "Koon is still maturing into his 6-foot-4, 210-pound body, and when he harnessed all the moving parts, he touched the mid-90s at times with his fastball."

Both players were also selected to the 2005 NJCAA Division II Baseball All-District Southeast teams. Rice earned the district's Defensive Player of the Year award.

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

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