HOOVER, Ala. – Be ready.
Over and over again, those two words are said in the Mississippi State dugout.
Demarcus Henderson, sidelined with a broken bone in his glove hand, heeded those words as he anxiously waited for his opportunity to help his teammates on the field.
Now in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, the freshman outfielder is making the most of his opportunity with the Bulldogs by going 5-for-15 over the last three games, including three hits, a pair of runs scored, and an RBI.
Henderson is among the team leaders in batting with a .268 batting average and credits the example set by Adam Frazier for helping State’s offense turn around.
“We see what Frazier does every day and he’s the cockiest guy on the team but not in a bad way,” Henderson said. “You’re just not going to tell him that he can’t do something. We want to watch that and learn how to get better every day. We have to help him out a little bit.”
Early in the season, Henderson was seeing playing time and having success prior to the injury. Now, he’s making the adjustments at the plate to stay productive.
“It was a tough adjustment for me last year when great pitchers in this league would make adjustments to go to off-speed,” Henderson said. “I’m not satisfied yet because I know I still have a long way to go.”
No question his offense has been a plus during State’s recent run, but Wednesday he showcased the leather as well.
“I knew I was either going to trap it or possibly have it just barely drop in front of me,” Henderson said of the diving catch he made to rob former teammate JaCoby Jones of an extra base hit. “The way I figured it, I had to do everything to go get this ball because my pitcher has been just dealing (Wednesday). In that situation, you have to make defensive plays behind him.”
Henderson and his MSU teammates face LSU today in a rematch of Wednesday second round contest with the Tigers.