February 14, 2014

Bulldog Pitchers Set for an Even Bigger 2014

Last season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs probably should have been set for disaster on paper. Things looked solid in the preseason with rising sophomores Brandon Woodruff and Jacob Lindgren set to boost the starting rotation for State with senior Kendall Graveman bringing the consistency. After Woodruff and Lindgren were hampered with injuries, MSU was set with an unsettled starting situation.

The MSU bullpen was there for the literal save with Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder providing the meat of the production as the Bulldogs were amazingly carried to the College World Series final by their relievers. With a staff ERA of 2.79 and 588 strikeouts, it proved to be one of the better crews in all of college baseball.

"Like I've always said, our bullpen is very diverse," Holder said. "We have guys that come over the top, righties, lefties, guys like Ross Mitchell and (Jacob) Lindgren. We have a diverse set of guys that have different roles and we understand our roles."

Holder led the way with one of the more fantastic seasons by a Bulldog in school history in which he saved 21 ball games breaking the single-season and career record in an MSU career. In just two seasons, the All-American has drawn to within just 13 saves from the SEC record in saves and 23 from the NCAA record.

Holder has become a figure of MSU baseball and one that will be an all-time face of the program. With a long mane of curly hair that flows and flops with every move on the mound, his curveball might be the most distinct thing about him. Fans have made Holder an icon in Mississippi State sports and he has even garnered national attention for his looks and his game. For him, it's all business when his signature Johnny Cash hits the speakers.

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