STARKVILLE, Miss. – Less than a week after being named to the 2014 NCBWA Preseason All-America Team, Mississippi State juniors Jonathan Holder and Ross Mitchell welcomed more preseason praise Monday, earning All-America honors by Louisville Slugger. The 2014 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America teams were selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
Holder, the incumbent closer on the preseason No. 2 team in the country, garnered first-team honors after recording a school-record 21 saves this past spring. The righty owned a 1.65 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings. Holder's save total ranked third nationally and tied the 11-year Southeastern Conference record held by Blake Taylor of South Carolina. The Gulfport, Miss., native embarks on his third campaign in Starkville with 30 career saves, 14 shy of tying Carolina pitcher Matt Price’s SEC record (2009-12).
Mitchell brought home third-team accolades following a 2013 campaign which saw him go 13-0, the only pitcher nationally to rack up 13-plus victories without a single loss. The win total tied Jeff Brantley (1984) for fifth-most ever at MSU in a single season, while his zero losses made him the second pitcher all-time at State (Frank Montgomery, 1962) to go undefeated in a season (min. 10 decisions). Finishing with a 1.53 ERA, the Smyrna, Tenn., southpaw held opponents to a .214 clip at the dish.
Holder and Mitchell begin their junior campaigns on Friday, Feb. 14, 2013, as the No. 2 Bulldogs begin their 124th season with a 4 p.m. Opening Day contest against Hofstra. For more information on the All-America duo, follow the team on social media by searching for “HailStateBB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.