Two to Transfer

Mississippi State baseball players Matt Lea, a righthanded pitcher, and Michael Rutledge, a backup infielder, have been granted their releases and are transferring to other schools.

Backup infielder Michael Rutledge, who would have been classified as a senior next season, has been granted his release by Mississippi State and will be transferring to Samford for his final season of baseball.

"Michael has graduated and he has an opportunity to play every day at Samford," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "They need an infielder there. And he would like the opportunity to pitch, too. So, it worked out good for him."

Michael started 69 games at shortstop or third base prior to his junior season, but was relegated to backup duties with the emergence of true freshman Connor Powers at third base and the move of Brandon Turner to shortstop.

Redshirt sophomore righthanded pitcher Matt Lea, who was selected to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team his freshman season, was expected to be a mainstay on the 2007 MSU pitching staff prior to injuring his shoulder. The injury and subseguent rehab caused him to miss the entire season.

"Matt Lea's rehab has not gone well, so the chances of him pitching much in the fall would be limited," said Polk. "He was concerned about our pitching staff being so deep and he also wants to hit. And he knows he's not going to hit here due to the first base situation. He hasn't made a decision where he's going, but he would like to go to a school that needs a hitter."

Mississippi State returns nine of eleven pitchers from the 2007 staff.

The two players join previously announced transfer freshman lefthanded pitcher Jarred Holloway. Holloway was redshirted his true freshman season.

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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