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Former Starkville Academy baseball player Spencer Brunson knows the value of hard work.
He gave that reason for having a solid junior season with the Mississippi College Choctaws.
Brunson played well enough to earn a spot on the All-American Southwest Conference first-team.
After transferring from Mississippi Delta Community College, Brunson improved his speed and quickness by hitting the weight room.
The commitment to the work has shown up in Brunson's play on the field at Mississippi College.
"It's been one of the best seasons I've ever had," Brunson said. "Coming into the year, I've worked harder than I've ever worked before so everything paid off for me."
Brunson led the Choctaws with a .417 batting average and 10 home runs. He led the American Southwest Conference with 70 hits and home runs, while finishing second in runs scored (51), total bases (111) and on-base percentage (.505).
Other offensive numbers for Brunson last season were seven doubles, two triples, 44 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases.
"I am grateful to have such a great quality person and baseball player on our team," Mississippi College baseball coach Brian Owens said of Brunson. "He is a true leader both on and off the field.
"He has a great future ahead of him being such a quality person. I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to coach and watch him play for another season."
Brunson said playing for the Choctaws was exactly what he needed after a year of junior college.
It's the way Owens and his staff run the program that makes things so comfortable for Brunson.
"They let you play the way you are used to playing," Brunson said. "They let you be you and not try to change major things. Of course, you get instruction which is what you need, but at the same time, you play the way you've always played. I love everything about it with all of the people."
Brunson is already looking forward to his senior year and believes it will set him up for something positive beyond college.