Mississippi is having a heck of a year on the college diamonds, and it ain’t over yet. Southern Miss’ Dylan Burdeaux won Conference USA player of the year honors today, giving the state four such honorees. Burdeaux joins Mississippi State’s Brent Rooker (SEC), Delta State’s Zack Shannon (Gulf South) and William Carey’s James Land (SSAC) as top dogs in their league. (Rooker beat out Burdeaux and Shannon for the Ferriss Trophy that goes to the state’s best player.) For what it’s worth, Jackson State’s Bryce Brown had a pretty good case for SWAC POY, and Itawamba Community College’s Tyreque Reed (a State commit) led NJCAA Division II in hitting with an amazing .504 average. DSU, Carey and Hinds CC are all bound for the World Series at their respective levels. The NCAA Division I schools are only just beginning their quest for Omaha, with USM looking like it might have a realistic shot.
William Carey goes into the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament as the No. 3 seed, having secured that spot by taking two of three from rival Belhaven over the weekend. BU fell to the 8-seed. Carey plays sixth-seeded Bethel on Wednesday, while BU gets top seed Auburn-Montgomery at Montgomery, Ala. … Delta State, the preseason pick to win the Gulf South Conference title, goes into the GSC Tournament as the No. 6 seed and opens on Saturday with top seed West Alabama at Livingston, Ala. … Millsaps lost twice to rival Rhodes at home in its Southern Athletic Association tourney and must now wait to see if it is deemed worthy of an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III regionals. The Majors are 28-12 this year, 0-5 against Rhodes. … It should be a very competitive atmosphere when Ole Miss and Mississippi State tangle on Tuesday in the Governor’s Cup at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Both need every win they can get. … It was not a good weekend for Mississippi-connected starting pitchers in MLB. On Saturday, MSU product Kendall Graveman allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings for Oakland (then was demoted to Triple-A on Sunday) and ex-Picayune High star T.J. House allowed three runs in just three innings for Cleveland. On Sunday, former Ole Miss star Lance Lynn yielded six runs in five innings for St. Louis and fellow UM alum Drew Pomeranz gave up three runs in five innings in a game the A’s would ultimately lose. … Props to former Rebels star Seth Smith for belting his first home run this season for Seattle on Sunday. He now has 86 for his career. … With Josh Hamilton apparently headed back to Texas, former State standout Mitch Moreland may see fewer at-bats down the road. Playing through a sore elbow, he is batting .310 with one homer. … Regardless of whether you like Buck Showalter, the former MSU star now managing in Baltimore, you’ve got to love his “These are the good ol’ days” MLB promo.