STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State junior right-handed closer Jonathan Holder picked up his third 2014 preseason All-America honor Monday, being named to the preseason Perfect Game All-America Team.
The second-team honor is the third this winter for MSU’s career and single-season saves record holder, having already earned first-team praise from the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger.
Holder, the incumbent closer on the preseason No. 2 team in the country, was a 2013 consensus All-American and earned 2012 consensus Freshman All-America honors. The Gulfport, Miss., native enters 2014 23 saves shy of tying UC Irvine’s Blair Erickson (2004-07) for the all-time NCAA saves record (53), in addition to being 13 saves short of tying South Carolina’s Matt Price (2009-12) for the all-time SEC saves record (43). The Bulldogs are 80-0 since Holder stepped on campus when leading after the eighth inning, showing why the All-American is a Perfect Game Top-250 prospect for the 2014 MLB Draft.
A two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Holder also holds the school record for consecutive scoreless innings with 27.1 as a freshman in 2012. In 58 career relief appearances, he owns a 1.19 career ERA, striking out 37 percent of career batters faced (120 of 324). In conference play, the closer boasts a microscopic career 0.23 ERA in 25 career games, holding opponents to a .159 average at the plate with 52 strikeouts in 38.2 innings of work.
Fans can watch Holder at Dudy Noble Field this Friday at 4 p.m., as MSU holds its first public team practice of the year. State’s 2014 lid-lifter is Friday, Feb. 14, 2013, as the No. 2 Bulldogs begin their 124th season with a 4 p.m. Opening Day contest against Hofstra.
2014 Mississippi State Preseason All-America Honors
Jr. RHP Jonathan Holder – NCBWA (First Team), Louisville Slugger (First Team), Perfect Game (Second Team)
RJr. LHP Ross Mitchell – NCBWA (Second Team), Louisville Slugger (Third Team)