31 Mar

the right stuff

Facing a power-packed lineup in enemy territory, a day after his team blew a late lead and lost, Jurrangelo Cijntje sizzled on Saturday. The Mississippi State sophomore threw seven commanding innings against Florida — a consensus top 10 team — in leading the Bulldogs to a resounding 12-2 victory. That’s what an ace does. “I was just trying to give my team the chance to win,” Cijntje said in a 247sports.com story. “These guys deserve it after an awful loss yesterday. We needed that today.” MSU improved to 19-9 and 4-4 in the SEC. Florida is 15-11, 5-3. The Bulldogs belted five homers — two each by Dakota Jordan and Connor Hujsak — but the performance by Cijntje stole the show. The Netherlands native, who played high school ball in Florida, had family members in the crowd at Condron Ballpark, and they watched him hold the Gators to two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Cijntje arrived at State last year with the fanfare of being a switch-pitcher. He had some tough times in the rugged SEC, finishing 3-5 with an 8.10 ERA overall. He has turned things around in 2024, currently sitting at 5-1 with a 3.43 in seven starts. He has punched out 53 in 39 1/3 innings. Clearly, his stuff plays. The Bulldogs’ pitching overall has been better this season under new pitching coach Justin Parker. The staff ERA is 4.16, fifth in the SEC. It was an ugly 7.01 in 2023, and no Bulldogs fan need be reminded that last year’s team went 27-26 and 9-21 in the league.

23 Feb

making news

Mississippi State’s freshman switch-pitcher — Jurrangelo Cijntje — appears to be much more than a novelty act. Cijntje made his first start on Wednesday against visiting Louisiana-Monroe and threw four shutout innings, fanning six batters with his right arm and one with his left in a 14-3 victory. In two appearances, he has allowed three hits, no runs and one walk with eight punchouts for the 3-2 Bulldogs. Wednesday’s performance rated a witty headline on mlb.com: “Give him a hand … or two!” On si.com, he was hailed as a “new star.” The 5-foot-11 Cijntje, from Florida, was an 18th-round draft pick by Milwaukee last summer. A natural lefty, he hits 92 mph from that side but amps it up to 97 with his right arm. In its pre-draft scouting report last year, Baseball America noted that Cijntje has “real touch and feel with both arms.” On Wednesday, he threw 58 pitches right-handed, 17 lefty. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles SEC lineups. … Overshadowed by the switch-pitcher was the reported 474-foot home run hit by Bulldogs freshman Dakota Jordan. It was the first bomb of the season for the former Jackson Academy star, who is 5-for-21 on the year. P.S. Kudos to Picayune native and ex-Pearl River Community College star Matt Riser, who notched his 300th win as coach at Southeastern Louisiana when the Lions pummeled Jackson State 19-0 at Braddy Field on Tuesday. … Getting home runs from Patrick Lee, Billy Garrity and Bailee Hendon, William Carey University beat Southeastern Baptist College 23-3 at Boston Park in Laurel on Wednesday. Carey, a traditional NAIA power, is 8-2. SBC, a fledgling NCCAA program, was playing its season opener.