In addition to the Mississippi products on the Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss teams, there are quite a few on the rosters of other schools participating in this week’s NCAA Division I regionals. C-USA power Louisiana Tech, hosting a regional, is coached by Meridian native Lane Burroughs, who has coached all over the Magnolia State and recruits it heavily, as well. There are eight state connections with the Bulldogs, including Itawamba Community College product Kyle Crigger (3-2, 3.69 ERA), Seminary’s Adarius Myers (.256 in 36 games) and Hernando’s Ben Brantley (17 RBIs in 34 games). SWAC champion Southern University, in the Austin Regional, has seven state products on its roster. O’Neill Burgos, the ex-Jones College slugger who broke Jackson State’s heart in the SWAC final (see previous post), is one of the Jaguars’ top hitters at .300 with five homers. Starkville’s Jonathan Evans is a .271 hitter. South Alabama, bound for the Gainesville Regional, also has seven state connections and has gotten significant contributions from three pitchers: Pearl River CC alum Miles Smith is 6-1, 2.23; Hinds CC’s Jase Dalton is 5-3, 1.53 with four saves; and Northeast CC’s Tyler Samaniego has two wins and six saves. LSU suits up Drew Bianco, Oxford High product and son of the UM coach who is batting .229 with six homers. The Tigers are in the Eugene Regional. Alabama, in the Ruston Regional, has former Jones juco ace Will Freeman, who is 2-1, 2.41.
If there was doubt that Jake Mangum could handle the jump to Double-A, the ex-Mississippi State star has dismissed it. Mangum was hitting .206 at High-A Brooklyn when the New York Mets, forced by injuries to make some moves with their outfielders, promoted Mangum to Binghamton. In nine games, the 25-year-old switch-hitter is batting .368. He enjoyed his best night with the Rumble Ponies on Wednesday, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, three runs and two RBIs. He led off the 10th inning with a run-scoring three-bagger and scored what proved to be the deciding run in an 8-7 game on a sac fly. A fourth-round pick as a senior at State in 2019, Mangum didn’t hit much for power before arriving in Binghamton, where he has six extra-base knocks and is slugging .605. He has struck out just six times in 38 at-bats. True, nine games is a small sample size. And he’ll run into some outstanding pitchers in the Double-A East. But Mangum knows a little about hitting; he is the SEC’s all-time hits leader, after all. … Down in the Double-A South on Wednesday, Mississippi Braves catcher – and No. 3 Atlanta prospect – Shea Langeliers belted three homers at Pensacola and now leads the league with seven. After a sluggish start in his first Double-A campaign, the 23-year-old former Baylor star is hitting .284 with 13 RBIs. That’s nice, he says, but … . “The biggest role I have on this team is as a catcher,” he told milb.com. “Catching comes first, hitting comes second.” His arm – rated a 70 on the scouts’ 20-80 scale — is already big league-caliber. The bat is coming along.