25 May

digging the long ball

Brian Dozier, last year’s runner-up in the all-Mississippi home run race, is leading the pack at the Memorial Day mark. With nine home runs this season — including two on Sunday — the former Southern Miss star is tops among the 11 Mississippians who’ve appeared in the majors. He leads Ole Miss alumni Chris Coghlan by two and Zack Cozart by three. Collectively, Mississippi-connected players have hit 43 homers in 2015. Ex-Mississippi State star Mitch Moreland belted the 40th — his fourth of the season — on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Last year’s champion (with 24 bombs) was Meridian Community College product Corey Dickerson, currently on the disabled list with five. UM alum Seth Smith has hit four. Dozier erupted with a career-high 23 homers last season, when he was picked for the Home Run Derby at his home field in Minnesota. He is on a current power trip with five homers in his last eight games. P.S. Southern Miss/William Carey alum Dan Jennings, after starting 0-5 as Miami manager, has won two in a row, both at the expense of ex-MSU star Buck Showalter’s Baltimore club. Showalter was an ardent supporter of the Marlins’ much-debated decision to move Jennings from GM to skipper. Former Mississippi Braves star Martin Prado got the game-winning hit (in the 13th inning) for the Marlins on Saturday and delivered a key home run Sunday. … The New York Yankees have brought up lefty reliever Jacob Lindgren, the ex-State standout who had such a terrific pro debut in 2014 and almost made the big club this spring.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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