All-American candidate Chris Stratton became Mississippi State baseball's first Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. On top of the right-hander's yearly nod, junior righty Kendall Graveman was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and freshman closer Jonathan Holder was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Stratton earned the yearly accolade after going an SEC-best 11-1 with a league-low 2.21 ERA, with the 11 triumphs ranking fourth in the country. The two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week is fifth in the nation with 123 strikeouts and checks in with the fourth-lowest opponent batting average in the SEC (.211). Stratton earned All-SEC First Team accolades as well, becoming the first MSU pitcher since current MLB star Paul Maholm in 2003 to be named to the first team.
Graveman became the first player in school history to be named to the SEC All-Defensive Team (established in 2008) after leading all starting pitchers on the staff with a .971 fielding percentage. For the season, Graveman is 4-4 with a stellar 2.92 ERA, striking out 54 batters in 86.1 innings of work. With his presence on the mound, opponents have attempted only five stolen bases off of the Alexander City, Ala., native.
With a school-record 27.1 innings pitched without a run allowed this season, Holder became the first relief pitcher in the history of the program to be named to the All-SEC Freshman Team (established 2005). The Gulfport, Miss., native is 2-0 in 23 appearances with a team-high nine saves (seventh in school history) and a team-low .154 batting average.
Representing all three yearly SEC teams for the first time in the history of the program, the Diamond Dawgs will now turn their attention to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, where a 11 a.m. CT matchup with Samford awaits Friday. To purchase tickets, click here. For more information on the 2012 SEC Tournament Champions, follow the team on Twitter at Twitter.com/MStateBB.