18 Mar

heat check

Among the five players with Mississippi ties who made the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, all but one have gotten off to great starts. Dakota Jordan, Mississippi State’s right fielder, is on a tear of late and is batting .408 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs, leading the Bulldogs into the national rankings this week. The Canton native already has matched his home run total from his freshman season. Former Madison Central High star Braden Montgomery, now playing outfield at Texas A&M, is hitting .368 with nine homers and 35 RBIs for the nationally ranked Aggies. Montgomery was a two-time All-Pac-12 selection at Stanford before transferring to the SEC. Jordan and Montgomery will meet when A&M hosts State this week in College Station. Brett Sanchez, the NCAA Division III pitcher of the year at Belhaven University in 2023, is 1-1 with a save and a 2.38 ERA for the Blazers this season. The right-hander has struck out 44 batters in 34 innings and has twice been named the CCS pitcher of the week. Jackson Prep senior Konnor Griffin, regarded by many as the best prep player in the nation, is outclassing his competition, batting .696 with eight doubles, five homers and 49 stolen bases, per MaxPreps. The LSU signee has been walked 26 times in 20 games. He is also 4-0, 0.00 ERA, as a pitcher. Shane Lewis, a former Warren Central High standout now playing at Troy, has scuffled, hitting .188 with four homers to date. The Sun Belt player of the year in 2023, he hit a school-record 27 bombs and drove in 77 runs for the Trojans last year. … Ex-MSU standout Will Clark won the 1985 Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur player in the country each year.

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