Easley Named SEC Player of the Week

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior catcher Edward Easley, the SEC's top hitter with a .516 batting average, has been tabbed the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after helping lead the Baseball Bulldogs to an SEC season-opening series win at Florida last weekend.

Easley, from Olive Branch, Miss., continued his torrid SEC-leading pace at the plate last week, hitting at a .533 clip (8x15, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB) in four games. The Johnny Bench Award candidate helped spark Mississippi State to a 2-1 showing against the Gators on SEC opening weekend and its first SEC series win at Florida since 1990, hitting .600 (6x10, 2HR, 7 RBI, 1.200 SL%, 5 BB, .733 OB%).

He went 3-for-3 with a home run and three walks and matched both season and career highs with four RBI in the series-clinching Sunday win. Easley now leads the club with 33 hits, 24 runs, six home runs and 25 RBI. He also leads the SEC with an .859 slugging percentage and paces State (third in the SEC) with a .568 on-base percentage.

It's the first weekly league honor earned by a Mississippi State player this season and the first such honor earned by Easley.

Easley is one of four Bulldogs to have hit safely in 15 of 16 games this season and currently leads the club in both multi-hit and multi-RBI games.

Mississippi State (12-4, 2-1 SEC), just returned from an 11-day, seven-game road run to Texas and Florida, begins a 10-game homestand Wednesday, testing Samford (11-10) in a 6:30 p.m. contest at Dudy Noble Field. The game was originally scheduled to be played Tuesday night but was moved to Wednesday to accommodate fans attending Tuesday night's MasterCard NIT North Regional Championship game in Humphrey Coliseum between MSU and Florida State. MSU plays its next two league opponents at home, beginning with this weekend's series against South Carolina (17-3, 2-1 SEC), ranked third in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.

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