Bracewell Makes Three

July 1st marked the first official day college baseball coaches could make direct telephone contact with rising senior prospects. The day brought a flurry of activity, an offer and a quick decision for Louisville Slugger All-American Ben Bracewell.

Ben Bracewell profile

"I committed this morning," said Briarwood Christian standout Ben Bracewell. "I talked with Coach Cohen, the head coach, and Coach Thompson the pitching coach. They were both real excited."

It turns out that new MSU pitching coach, Butch Thompson, has been following Ben for some time.

"Coach Thompson came to see me pitch in a showcase at Troy about a year ago," said Bracewell. "He told my coach he really liked me. He has stayed in touch with me ever since.

"He saw me throw good and he saw me throw bad some times, but he stayed in touch with me. A lot of coaches will drop you if they see a bad performance, but he didn't do that.

"He was about to offer me when he was at Auburn, but then the staff got scattered when Coach Embery resigned. Coach Thompson took a job at High Point in North Carolina. He was even in touch with me then the few days he was there.

"Coach Cohen offered him a position at Mississippi State, so it worked out perfect. We were already scheduled to visit Mississippi State that Friday and he pulled into Starkville on Thursday night. It was just like it was meant to be."

The 6-0, 180-pounder, who throws in the 88 to 89 miles per hour range, sported a 0.86 ERA this past season and batted .421 with six home runs. His efforts earned him All-Area, All-Metro, All-Over the Mountain, All-State and Honorable Mention Louisville Slugger All-American honors as selected by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

Bracewell played both shortstop and pitcher this past season, but he is not totally sure where he will spend his college days position wise.

"They told me once I got up there we would just work it out when we practiced intra-squad," said Ben. "They will just evaluate me more then and let me play where I can best help the team. If I play short stop, I would probably have to pitch as a closer or something like that."

With baseball recruiting about to begin in earnest for most prospects, Bracewell is already relieved the process is over for him.

"Today was the first day they could call and I got a lot of calls," explained Ben. "Sanford, Alabama, Ole Miss, UAB, Jacksonville State, Troy and Mississippi State all called.

"A couple of schools were already talking about offering and they said they were going to get back with me later in the week. I never really gave anyone else a chance to offer. Mississippi State offered me this morning and it was a good offer. Once they offered me, it was a no brainer. I went ahead and committed."

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