Mississippi State right-handed pitcher Caleb Reed named first-team All-Amercan by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Wednesday. Photo by: Courtesy of MSU athletic department
December 15, 2011 9:40:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- The goal for the Mississippi State baseball team in the 2012 season is to hear ZZ Top over the loudspeakers and having their first-team All-American have the ball to end the contest.
In Thursday's edition of The Dispatch, you'll see a feature on the road that the 5-foot-9, 190-pound reliever has transformed himself into a struggling freshman and sophomore pitcher to one of the best closers in the nation. Please go pick up a copy of the story, plus of course it'll make my bosses happy, where Reed himself and MSU head coach John Cohen talks about journey to this point.
Reed was selected as a first-team All-Amercan by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Wednesday after leading the team in saves with 12 and earned run average at 1.55 in the previous season.
Reed earned his final save to preserve MSU's shutout win over Southern Mississippi in the NCAA Atlanta Regional and notched a win in relief against top-ranked Florida the following weekend in the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional. State posted a 38-25 record and finished the 2011 season with a No. 15 national ranking.
When Reed, who was voted co-captain of the Bulldogs squad for the 2012 campaign, was asked to get less than six outs at the end of a game last year, he gave up just one earned run this season in 16 of those appearances.
He is the first MSU player given an All-American selection since 2007 when three were given the honor (Ed Easley, Thomas Berkery and Brandon Turner). He is one of five players from the Southeastern Conference named to the first-team honor unit and among 10 league players to earn All-America team honors overall on the NCBWA's 12th annual preseason All-America listing. The other first-team selections include pitchers Michael Roth and Matt Price from two-time defending NCAA champion South Carolina and catcher Mike Zunino and utility player Brian Johnson from NCAA runner-up Florida.
Reed is now just 13 relief appearances away from third all-time in school history and last year was one save away from tying the MSU single-season record of 13. For a player that had everybody including himself wondering if he could get SEC hitters out early in his college career, Reed had 64 strikeouts in 57.2 innings of work during the regular season last year.
MSU opens its 2012 campaign and a 38-game home schedule Feb. 17-19 when the Bulldogs host first-time opponent Washington State in a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
3. Freedom Creek Festival: Still deliverin' the blues ENTERTAINMENT