The hits keep on rolling for Mississippi State's Jake Mangum. Earlier this spring, he became the SEC's all-time hits leader, and on college baseball's biggest stage at the College World Series, Mangum broke the Mississippi State single-season hit record with his 108th hit of 2019.
The records began to fall on Saturday, April 27. It wasn't Mangum's hardest hit ball, but it was certainly his most memorable. In a top 10 showdown against No. 4 Georgia, Mangum picked up his 353rd career hit, setting the all-time SEC mark.
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Mangum, who returned for his senior season after being a key cog on the 2018 College World Series team, is enjoying yet another fine season with the Diamond Dawgs in 2019, getting them back to Omaha for the second-straight year and capturing even more hit records.
"Crazy," Mangum said, reflecting back to the SEC record-setting hit during the College World Series media day. "Breaking that record, it was a lot. But if I go 0-for-25 this tournament, but if we win the national championship, I'll be the happiest guy in the city."
The centerfielder was already hitting .390 with 76 hits entering that late-April Saturday game. He led off Mississippi State's half of the first with his SEC-tying 352nd career hit before coming to bat in the second with runners on first and second. Mangum got under it and lofted it into no man's land between the first baseman, second baseman, and right fielder, blooping in for the record-setting base hit.
Mangum broke LSU's Eddy Furniss' record of 352 hits. Furniss, like Mangum, was a four-year player for the Tigers, playing from 1995-98. He joins Mississippi State alum Jeffrey Rea, Richard Lee, and Travis Chapman in the SEC all-time top 10.
Next up, Mangum racked up the hits at TD Ameritrade Omaha with at least one hit in each of his first three games. He broke the record with his 108th coming in the seventh inning of the elimination game against Louisville with a spot in the CWS semifinals on the line.
He's been red-hot in this year's College World Series. He started the Diamond Dawgs ninth-inning rally against Auburn with a leadoff double that led to Mississippi State's 28th come-from-behind victory of 2019. All told, he has five hits through the first three games in Omaha. That puts him all alone in fourth place in NCAA history with 383 career hits and his 108 hits are also the most in college baseball this season.
When it's all said and done, Mangum relishes the record, but there's a new goal he's after.
"This program has done everything it's needed to do since it started. The only triple crown winners in SEC history, SEC championships — you can list them all out, tournament championships, hosting regionals, hosting supers all the way through. We've been to Omaha every decade for the last 50 years. I don't know if anyone else can say that. You have to fact-check me there."
Upon further review, MSU is the only SEC team — and one of five NCAA schools — to accomplish that feat.
"But look, we haven't won a national championship. For whatever reason, this is our 11th trip to Omaha. Our first 10, we just couldn't finish. That's our only goal. It ain't about hits, it's not about strikeouts, it's all about winning these five baseball games."
Here's where Mangum matches up against the all-time hit leaders in SEC baseball history.
(through games played June 19, 2019.)
|383*||Jake Mangum||Mississippi State||1074*||2016-19|
|335||Jeffrey Rea||Mississippi State||998||2004-07|
|328||Richard Lee||Mississippi State||967||1995-98|
|327||Travis Chapman||Mississippi State||919||1997-00|
Here's where Mangum ranks all-time in NCAA Division I history:
|418||Phil Stephenson||Wichita State||288||1979-82|
|385||Steve Stanley||Notre Dame||256||1999-02|
|383*||Jake Mangum||Mississippi State||262||2016-2019|
|379||John Fishel||Cal State Fullerton||295||1982-85|