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Stratton keeps making history with Bulldogs

May 18, 2012

MSU's Chris Stratton pitches against Kentucky on Thursday night. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

Chris Stratton had one more pitch to make on Thursday night.

When asked if it may have been his last time to take the mound at Dudy Noble Field for Mississippi State, Stratton came back with a "maybe we can host a regional and maybe we're still in the picture as long as we take care of business here and make some noise in Hoover (Ala.)"

Stratton was very good for the Bulldogs again against the No. 2 (Collegiate Baseball) Kentucky Wildcats by giving up one earned run on six hits and striking out eight during a 3-1 victory.

As a junior with the potential to sign a professional contract, Stratton may have made his last home appearance for MSU.

Fellow pitchers like redshirt freshman Ross Mitchell have enjoyed watching greatness.

"Just getting to watch him every night, he's amazing," Mitchell said. "Strat just comes in and throws 93 and 94 (miles per hour), but has a dirty slider, change up and curve to go with it so he can do all of it. It's awesome to be a part of it."

Stratton continues to put together one of the best seasons in Bulldog history.

The Tupelo native becomes the first player in the Southeastern Conference this season with 10 wins and the first MSU pitcher to do it since Paul Maholm won 10 games in 2002. Maholm is now pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

With his eight strikeouts against Kentucky, Stratton tied former Bulldog hurler Jeff Brantley for seventh on the single-season strikeout list with 115.

Stratton, who just won the Ferriss Trophy on Monday signifying the best college baseball player in Mississippi, has been enjoying himself so much that he hasn't wanted to look at the numbers.

"I don't pay any attention to it at all," Stratton said. "I'm just out here having fun with my friends and love competing."

Stratton raised his career strikeout total to 267 which stands sixth in MSU history. He passed Mike Profitt, who had 265 strikeouts from 1969-72.

There's a pretty good chance Stratton will hold third on that list before the end of the season. He doesn't have to do much to get there.

He only needs two more strikeouts to tie Matt Ginter (1996-99) for fifth, then only two more after that to catch B.J. Wallace, who had 271 strikeouts from 1990-92.

After Wallace, Stratton can set his sights on Maholm, who collected 273 strikeouts from 2001-03.

"Sounds good to me," Stratton said with a grin.

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