The Mississippi College baseball team is looking to get past the “Dog Days” of the season. After starting the year 18-4, the Choctaws baseball team has hit a rough patch, going 4-5 in their past 9 games, but Mississippi College ace Chris Crosby and catcher Brandon Broussard believes the team will get back to their winning ways.
Broussard knows this team is more complete than in years past, and he hopes that will get the team out of this slump. “This year’s team gels a lot better than last year’s team. We have a lot of arms in our pitching staff this season. If someone is struggling, we have someone who can fill. Our hitters starting out in the beginning of the year were leading the conference in batting averages at .380, and we are pretty confident hitting the ball and scoring runs,” said Broussard.
A big part of the Choctaws’ success this season has been their pitching staff, especially the three starting pitchers, who have a combined era of 3.54. Crosby is one of the pitchers having an outstanding season, and he believes the pitching staff deserves more credit. “Our pitching staff has been pretty solid. I feel like a lot of guys do not get the credit that they deserve. Our hitters are good, and we have a really good lineup, but our pitching staff has been pretty good as well. We have Hunter Mullis who has been phenomenal for us this year; Zach Ingram has been doing pretty well; and our bullpen for the most part has been lights out. Every pitcher has his days, but for the most part we have been locked in and on,” Crosby said.
It helps a pitcher to know that they have a defense backing them up, and the MC team has a really good one. “Our defense is phenomenal. I am the type of guy that is going to pound the strike zone and attack the hitter, and having a defense behind you that is one of the best in the GSC makes it easier to pitch. We have the best outfield in the GSC. I have full confidence in my defense, especially behind the plate with Brandon Broussard. It is honestly a blessing to have a defense like we do,” said Crosby.
Broussard has been a quiet hero on the baseball team, as his leadership and toughness has built confidence for his pitchers. “That is our guy. Broussard has been a dawg for us all year. I can’t say enough good things about him. He has caught every single game for us, even though he has been banged up with a dislocated shoulder and all kinds of things. He is the best catcher I have ever had in my life,” said Crosby.
It is not just the starting few who are having a great year for the Choctaws, but the relievers too. “Brandon Kennedy is the first person that comes to mind as a reliever; he has come in and helped us out a lot. He throws a lot of strikes and gives us an opportunity to get outs. Austin Chastang has come in and thrown a lot of zeros for us as well. Our relievers have been really good this year,” Broussard said.
Mississippi College had a tough loss recently, when the team gave up 7 runs in the 9th inning to lose to Montevallo by the score of 12-11, but Broussard still believes in his relievers. “Ryan (Lane) is a very consistent guy for us, but he just had an off day yesterday and we still believe in him. Normally when we put him in that position he is going to perform well, and it is just baseball. So you live and forget,” Broussard said.
After a team meeting, Crosby wants the team to compete and bring it every single game. “I expect us to really bring it to people. We came out really hot. We kind of hit a wall these past couple of weeks, but we brought the team together and had some heart-to-hearts. I really feel like that is going to change our aspects and mentality for the rest of the season,” said Crosby. “We cleared the air. I felt like we did not have much closure as a team, and we needed to address some problems that we had with guys not playing up to par. We know we are a pretty good team, and we know what everyone is capable, of so we were just encouraging guys to believe in themselves,” Crosby said.
Mississippi College is currently in 6th place in the GSC with a record of 11-6, and the Choctaws can improve that record this weekend in a home series against Christian Brothers.