Diamond Dogs Picking Summer Ball Teams

While the squad awaits next Monday's announcement on whether or not the NCAA will offer an at-large extension to this 2006 season, Diamond Dog underclassmen are also finalizing plans on where they will be spending their summers.

As of this week, fifteen Mississippi State players have signed-up to participate with summer baseball teams in various leagues across the country. Others will be added to the total and noted as destinations are settled in the days to come. The most recent list provided by the MSU baseball staff is:

Pitcher Jesse Carver, catcher Ryan Duffy, pitcher Ricky Bowen: Covington, Valley League

Outfielder Nick Hardy: Haymarket, Valley League

Pitcher Aaron Weatherford, catcher Wyn Diggs: Danville, Central Illinois League

First baseman Jeff Flagg: Lowell, Northeast Collegiate League

First baseman Cade Hoggard, infielder Brandon Turner: Delaware, Great Lakes League

Catcher Joseph McCaskill, infielder Russ Sneed, pitcher Jared Koon: Outer Banks, Coastal Plains League

Outfielder/pitcher Mitch Moreland: Bourne, Cape Cod League

Pitcher John Lalor: Wareham, Cape Cod League

Pitcher Andy Wilson: Athletes In Action team in Alaska

A couple of summer ‘assignments' have not been settled just yet. Pitcher Josh Johnson is considering playing for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League. And pitcher Chad Crosswhite has tentative plans to play at Danville in the C.I.L., but there is a chance he could go to the Cape as well.

Third baseman Michael Rutledge and middle-infielder Bunky Kateon will pass on the better-known leagues this time around and spend their off-season playing for summer squads in their hometown areas.

Meanwhile a number of veteran Dogs will be taking a break from the game this summer, with the blessing of their coaches. That doesn't mean they'll be lazing the off-season away entirely. Catcher Edward Easley, first baseman Brian LaNinfa, second baseman Jeffrey Rea, outfielder Matt Richardson, and starting pitcher Justin Pigott all plan to attend summer school at State.

Also, pitcher Matt Lea will now likely be spending his summer at home. The rookie had originally planned to play but the arm problem that has sidelined him since April 18 is dictating a lot of down-time instead. And outfielder Andy Rice has been booked for post-season corrective surgery on the shoulder muscle torn back in late March, which means a summer spent in rehab.

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