Defensive chemistry develops with Bulldogs

Mississippi State shortstop Luke Alxander thorws the baseball across the infield.
Staff Writer

Gary Henderson has been a coach in the Southeastern Conference for over 20 years.

He has watched teams play defense at a high level in the league during that time, but said on Wednesday that the Mississippi State Bulldogs may have performed as well on the field in that area as he’s seen.

Against the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington last weekend, the Bulldogs only made one error in the three-game series, while Luke Alexander made some outstanding plays at shortstop.

Henderson hopes that continues for MSU against No. 1 Florida this week.

“I was really happy with our defense for the weekend,” Henderson said. “It was tremendous Saturday and Sunday from Luke. There were a number of good defensive plays and hopefully we can carry that forward.”

The Bulldogs have played sharp defense lately and field at a .974 clip for the season. They have made one error per game with 52 errors in 52 games.

MSU junior second baseman Hunter Stovall likes the progress being made on defense and is proud of his teammate at shortstop.

“Luke Alexander is doing a great job,” Stovall said. “We were talking the other day about how comfortable he is on the infield right now. We’re all playing comfortable baseball so everybody around the field is comfortable.”

Freshman Tanner Allen has settled in at first base with only four errors in 252 chances, while fellow freshmen Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg have split time at third base.

Alexander and Stovall have started all 52 games, so the chemistry has had plenty of time to develop between the two infielders.

“We’ve played together for a long time so we know each other and what each other’s got,” Stovall said. “With other people, it’s just kind of there. You practice every day with each other and you go out there in the game and it’s the same deal, so the chemistry comes with reps.”