STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Perfect Game honored a trio of Mississippi State baseball student-athletes with All-America honors, while the American Baseball Coaches Association tabbed five Diamond Dawgs with All-Region accolades on Wednesday (June 12).
Perfect Game honored the trio of redshirt-junior Ethan Small (first team), senior Jake Mangum (second team) and sophomore Justin Foscue (third team) as All-Americans. It is the third All-America honor for each of the three MSU student-athletes, as they also earned All-America designation from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Small, Mangum and Foscue joined sophomore Tanner Allen on the ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region first team squad, and junior Dustin Skelton was named second-team All-Region. The four first-team All-Region picks are the most in program history, besting the three first-team honorees in 1979, 1983, 1984 and 1989.
The Collegiate Baseball Foundation’s National Pitcher of the Year, Small became just the second Diamond Dawg pitcher to earn Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year in program history and was a first-team All-SEC selection. Small is the first Diamond Dawg to garner first-team All-America accolades since Jacob Lindgren did so from Baseball America and Perfect Game in 2014.
The 15th Diamond Dawg in program history to hear his name called in the first round, Small was the fifth MSU student-athlete drafted in the first round in the last eight years, joining Brent Rooker (2017), Hudson (2016), Hunter Renfroe (2013) and Stratton (2012).
Small has been up to the challenge each week as the No. 1 starter for the Bulldogs, posting a 10-2 record – including a 7-1 mark in SEC play – and a 1.76 ERA. The southpaw has now allowed more than three runs in a start all season long. Overall, he has limited the opposition to two-or-fewer runs in 16 of 17 starts. He is the first MSU pitcher since Ross Mitchell (13; 2013) reached double-digits in the win column.
Against ranked opponents, Small posted a 6-2 record and 1.48 ERA in 10 starts, with Mississippi State owning a 7-3 record in those games. Two of those three losses came in one-run games, while the other loss was a two-run loss at Arkansas. In 61 innings of work versus the nation’s best teams, Small has allowed just 12 runs on 27 hits. He struck out 98 and walked just 18, limiting the opposition to a .131 batting average against.
On the career charts, Small owns 310 strikeouts and is just the third Diamond Dawg in program history to reach the 300-strikeout mark for a career, joining Eric Dubose (428; 1995-07) and Jeff Brantley (364; 1982-85). His 168 strikeouts this season are No. 2 on the MSU single-season list and sit No. 6 on. The SEC’s single-season charts, trailing DuBose (174; 1996) on both lists.
Enjoying one of the storied careers in Southeastern Conference history, Mangum capped his final trek through the regular season with his third first-team All-SEC selection. He is the first Diamond Dawg to ever earn three, first-team All-SEC honors and is the only MSU baseball student-athlete to ever garner four selections to the All-SEC team, grabbing second-team honors as a sophomore.
Even more impressive, Mangum is just the 16 SEC baseball student-athlete to every earn three first-team all-conference selections since the conference was founded in 1933. The All-America honors in 2019 also make him one of seven Diamond Dawgs in program history to multiple All-America honors from the major reporting publications of college baseball.
During the regular season, Mangum moved his name atop the Mississippi State and Southeastern Conference all-time hits charts. He passed Jeffrey Rea (335; 2004-07) for the MSU record and LSU’s Eddy Furniss (352; 1995-97) for the SEC career record. The switch-hitting center fielder has 378 hits to rank No. 5 all-time in NCAA history.
Mangum has 100-plus hits on the season for the second-straight year and is the first Diamond Dawg in program history to reach the 100-hits mark multiple times in a career. He piled up 101 in 2018, before totaling 103 in 2019. He is one of just four SEC baseball student-athletes to post back-to-back 100-hit seasons, joining Tennessee’s Chris Burke and the LSU duo of Todd Walker and Wes Grisham.
Foscue had a breakout sophomore year, playing two positions on the infield during the 2019 campaign. He is the first Diamond Dawg to earn All-America honors at second base since 1998 when Brad Freeman garnered second-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
In starts at third base and second base, the right-handed hitter boosted his batting average nearly 100 points during his second season and his 14 home runs are the most in a single season since Brent Rooker hit 23 in 2017. A first-team All-SEC pick, he already owns career highs in average (.338), runs scored (65), doubles (22), home runs (14), hits (89), RBIs (59) and total bases (153). His 22 doubles also rank tied for No. 8 on the single-season charts.
Allen earns his fifth postseason honor, adding his first-team All-Region to a third-team All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, NCAA Starkville Regional All-Tournament Team, first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Tournament Team honors. The starting first baseman in all 64 games, Allen hit .348 with 92 hits, 55 runs scored and 64 RBIs, which are all career highs.
Skelton has been as steady as anyone in the MSU lineup and was a stalwart behind the plate handling the opposing running game and one of the best pitching staffs in the NCAA. The junior has thrown out 20 base runners, while hitting a career-high .308 in 54 starts. His 10 home runs rank second on the team, while his 50 RBIs are double his career total entering the season.
An 18th round pick of the Miami Marlins, Skelton was an NCAA Starkville Regional All-Tournament Team selection after hitting .417 with four runs scored and two RBIs. He followed that by hitting .500 in the NCAA Starkville Super Regional with five RBIs.