TUCSON, Ariz. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – As one of the most successful seasons in program history enters the NCAA postseason, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has honored the Mississippi State baseball quartet of sophomore Tanner Allen, sophomore Justin Foscue, senior Jake Mangum and redshirt-junior Ethan Small as All-Americans.
The four All-America selections mark the most from a single publication in program history and are the second-most All-Americans in a single season behind the 2013 edition’s five All-Americans. The group is highlighted by Small’s selection to the first team. Foscue was named to the publication’s second team, while Allen and Mangum each earned a spot on the third team.
Mangum becomes the seventh Mississippi State baseball student-athlete to earn multiple All-America honors from the major reporting publications of college baseball. Along with his third-team selection from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this season, Mangum was a second-team All-American during his freshman season from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and third-team honoree from the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Mangum joins MSU’s only three-time All-American Rafael Palmeiro, along with two-time All-Americans Will Clark, Eric Dubose, Paul Maholm, Tommy Raffo and Pete Young as multiple national award selections.
A finalist for the Collegiate Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year, Small became just the second Diamond Dawg pitcher to earn Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year in program history earlier this month. A first-team All-SEC selection, Small was the first MSU pitcher since Dakota Hudson in 2016 to garner a spot on the All-SEC first team.
Small has been up to the challenge each week as the No. 1 starter for the Bulldogs, posting an 8-2 record – including a 7-1 mark in SEC play – and a 1.80 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 14 of 15 starts.
Against ranked opponents, Small posted a 5-2 record and 1.64 ERA in nine starts, with Mississippi State owning a 6-3 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 55 innings of work versus the nation's best teams, Small allowed just 11 runs on 22 hits. He struck out 90 and walked just 16, limiting the opposition to a .120 batting average against.
On the career charts, Small (292) looks to become 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). He is already one of just six MSU pitchers with multiple 100-stikeout seasons, also piling up 150 this season and 122 last season.
Foscue had a breakout sophomore year, playing two positions on the infield during the 2019 campaign. 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 posted career highs in average (.339), runs scored (60), doubles (22), home runs (14), hits (83), RBIs (56) and total bases (146). Overall, he ranked among the top-10 in average, slugging percentage (.618), runs scored, hits, RBIs, doubles, home runs and total bases in the SEC.
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.
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, moving into a tie for No. 6 on the NCAA’s all-time list with 370 career hits entering the postseason. Mangum also ranks among the top-10 in Mississippi State history in batting average, at bats, runs, doubles, triples, total bases stolen bases and games played.
Allen enjoyed a career year at the plate, while also anchoring the Bulldog infield with 59 starts at first base. He posted career-high numbers at the plate in average (.346), runs scored (51), doubles (22), home runs (6), RBIs (61) and walks (32). He ranked among the top-five in the SEC in hits, RBIs and doubles, while his .346 average was sixth highest in the conference.
A first-team All-SEC pick, Allen was also selected to the SEC All-Tournament team after leading all first basemen in average (.313), hits (5), extra base hits (2) and total bases (7). He was the first Diamond Dawg since 2016 to earn SEC All-Tournament honors, when pitcher Zac Houston earned a spot on the SEC postseason tournament squad.
Mississippi State (46-13) opens the NCAA Starkville Regional against SWAC champion Southern on Friday at noon. Tickets are still available by calling 1-800-GO-DAWGS, by visiting the ticket office at the Bryan Building or at the gates to Dudy Noble Field on the day of the game.