June 4, 2014 10:21:48 AM
STARKVILLE -- Some of the Mississippi State baseball team's seniors thanked the MSU fans on Twitter following the squad's season-ending loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Last season, MSU first baseman Wes Rea sent fans a thank you via a notepad on his iPhone that Twitter delivered the morning after the College World Series championship series. On Tuesday, senior co-captain Ben Bracewell wrote a notepad thank you letter to the fans that was distributed to his 2,969 Twitter followers.
In a note to "Bulldogs fans," Bracewell wrote, "Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making my five years at MSU a truly unforgettable
Bracewell encountered multiple injuries (shoulder, knee, foot, back, and elbow) at MSU but contributed out of the bullpen to the team's NCAA postseason efforts the past three seasons.
"Benny is one of the few people in our clubhouse left that knows exactly what it was like to be here when things were going really bad," MSU coach John Cohen said in early May. "He has truly been to the highest of highs and lowest of lows with this program and everything personally in between."
Bracewell helped MSU advance to the championship round of the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional by going 3 2/3 innings against Jackson State on Friday night. The right-hander allowed just two hits and one run against the Southwest Athletic Association champions and received a no-decision in the 3-1 victory. In his final three seasons, Bracewell struck out 109 in 111 2/3 innings.
"I cannot put into words how thankful I am for the support you have shown me and my brothers throughout my time here," Bracewell tweeted in his message to the fans. "My career has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but one I wouldn't trade for anything."
Senior second baseman Brett Pirtle, who was named to the all-tournament team at the Lafayette Regional, summed up his thoughts on his college career in a tweet.
"I'm sure going to miss playing in front of the best fans in all of college baseball. I'm going to miss y'all #HailState," Pirtle tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
After the 5-3 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Monday night, Cohen called Pirtle likely "the greatest player to ever play second base in the history of the program." Pirtle finished his MSU career with 158 hits and a .337 career batting average.
"He's earned the right to feel (like the best second baseman in program history) that way," Cohen said Monday night. "Brett Pirtle and others have done so much for Mississippi State baseball, and are winners in every way."
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.