Mississippi State Baseball earns All-America, All-Region honors

Published 4:55 pm Thursday, June 17, 2021

Special to the Item

STARKVILLE – As the postseason awards start to roll out, No. 3 Mississippi State baseball saw three student-athletes earn All-America honors and three garner American Baseball Coaches Association All-South Region honors.

On the NCBWA All-America teams, the duo of Tanner Allen and Landon Sims each earned first team honors, while Will Bednar was a third team selection. It is the second straight full season that Mississippi State earned multiple All-America honors from the NCBWA and the fourth time in five seasons that MSU has been represented on the publications All-America team.

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Baseball America also tabbed Allen and Sims as first-team All-America selections. It is the third in the last four full seasons that Baseball America has placed a Diamond Dawg on its first team. They join the duo of Jeff Brantley and Will Clark in 1985 as Bulldogs to earn first team honors in the same season.

Allen and Sims joined catcher Logan Tanner on the ABCA first-team All-South Region team. That trio joins the quartet of Allen, Justin Foscue, Jake Mangum and Ethan Small from 2019. With at least three honorees in each of the last two full seasons, it marks the first time since 1983-84 that MSU put three student-athletes on the All-Region first team in consecutive years.

Allen is making a school-record third appearance at the College World Series and is hitting .392 entering the event. The SEC Player of the Year, Allen hit .411 in SEC play to lead all hitters and he was the only SEC hitter to rank among the top 10 in average, hits, runs scored and RBIs. Nationally, Allen is close to becoming one of two Power 5 hitters with at least 90 hits, 60 runs scored and 60 RBIs in 2021.

The seventh Diamond Dawg to earn All-America honors in multiple years at MSU, Allen follows former teammate Jake Mangum (2016 & 19). The others include Rafael Palmeiro, Will Clark, Pete Young, Tommy Raffo, Eric DuBose and Paul Maholm.

With his second selection as an All-Region first teamer, Allen joins the group of seven others with multiple first-team selections. Mark Gillaspie, Bruce Castoria, Jeff Brantley, Palmeiro, Clark, Young and Mangum are also among that group. Joining the likes of Spencer Price, Jonathan Holder and Van Johnson, Sims’ 10 saves are tied for No. 8 on the single season charts at MSU and he sports a 4-0 record over in 21 appearances. The right-hander enters the College World Series with a 1.55 ERA and a .154 batting average against. He has struck out 85 batters in 46 1/3 innings of work and walked just 14.

Bednar earns the All-America nod after posting a 7-1 record in 13 starts (16 total appearances) and holding opponents to a .241 batting average. He is currently tied with Christian MacLeod for the team lead with 113 strikeouts with teammate Christian MacLeod, with the duo owning the freshman record for punchouts in a season at MSU. Over his 74 innings of work, Bednar has allowed 67 hits and just 20 walks. Tanner’s selection marks two straight years with an all-region catcher after Dustin Skelton earned the honor in the 2019. He leads MSU in home runs with 14 and ranks No. 3 on the team with a .284 average and No. 4 with 47 RBIs. Behind the plate, he has caught the majority of MSU’s 541 1/3 innings and school-record 744 strikeouts. He has also thrown out 10 of 36 potential base stealers and been a part of five strike out/throw out double plays in 2021.