Notes from the park:
Post-scrimmage interview with pitching coach Butch Thompson:
What were some highlights from the scrimmage?
"I think the biggest thing that stood out to me was (juco transfer catcher) Wes Thigpen throwing the ball to second base and how exciting that was. I could tell that was the buzz in the air. You have to love the way he can take over a game from that standpoint.
"I also thought the middle infielders, (juco transfer Jonathan) Ogden and (juco transfer Nick) Vickerson, looked like they handled themselves very solid with the speed of the game and their range, things like that. I had been working with the pitchers and hadn't seen them..
"(Sophomore outfielder) Brent Brownlee looked great and very comfortable. (Juco outfielder) Jaron Shepherd moved well in the outfield even though we had a rain shower earlier. I liked how those two guys moved around in the outfield.
"(Sophomore right-handed pitcher) Devin Jones is considerably better from last year. His arm is quicker. But even last year, when you were looking at him as a freshman, you were looking at him as to what he was going to be, not what he was. You project guys because they go from being seniors in high school to freshmen in college and start that process all over. And I see a great jump in him from four and five months ago. And that is exciting.
"(Sophomore left-handed pitcher) Nick Routt hadn't thrown a pitch (in a live game) since last season. And to have not thrown a pitch, I think we got exactly what we wanted out of him."
Post-scrimmage interview with sophomore right-handed pitcher Devin Jones:
What did you think about your outing?
"I feel like I did pretty good. I had good arm-speed on all of my pitches. I was pleased with how my arm came out and fired out because of this new program that we are doing. I am very comfortable with the program. There were a few first game things (that I need to get better at) such as getting the ball down a little more. I was about knee high the past couple of bullpens, and I elevated it a little bit which allowed people to make some contact. But overall I felt pretty good with my command and my arm speed."
You had another pitch other than your fastball that was impressive. The hitters were really having trouble hitting it.
"That was my sinker. I actually developed that two weeks ago. Last year I was struggling with the changeup. So, we started working with the sinker. It's harder than a changeup and it has a little sink to it toward the end."
How much do you weigh now and how much did you weigh when you first got to State last year?
"I weigh 180 now. I weighed 155 when I got here last season. And I still have a lot more to go, though."
Your velocity was consistently 90 to 93 in today's game. What was your velocity at this time last?
"I would probably say I was 87 to 88 last year. But I was scared to let it go last year. This summer really gave me a lot of confidence coming into the fall."
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.