Mississippi State

Mississippi State’s Brent Rooker is in rare company with SEC triple crown

Former Mississippi State first baseman Brent Rooker is just the second player in SEC history to clinch the conference’s triple crown. The only other player to do so? Fellow Bulldog and MLB veteran Rafael Palmeiro.
Former Mississippi State first baseman Brent Rooker is just the second player in SEC history to clinch the conference’s triple crown. The only other player to do so? Fellow Bulldog and MLB veteran Rafael Palmeiro. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

Brent Rooker is in pretty good company.

With the conclusion of the all-SEC College World Series on Wednesday, the Mississippi State Bulldog clinched the conference’s triple crown. He’s only the second player to achieve the feat, joining former MLB veteran and fellow Bulldog Rafael Palmeiro.

In clinching the triple crown, Rooker became the first SEC player ever to surpass 20 homers, 30 doubles, 75 RBIs. He finished with a .387 average, 23 homers and 82 RBIs.

During Palmeiro’s history making 1984 season, the future Texas Ranger, Baltimore Oriole and Chicago Cub hit .415 with 29 homers and 94 RBIs in 61 games. He finished his three years at MSU with 67 homers, a .372 average and 239 RBIs. He also struck out just 46 times while working 102 walks.

Rooker’s 20-30-75 feat also put him in rare company nationally, joining Clemson’s Khalil Greene, who hit .27 homers with 91 RBIs, 33 doubles and a .470 average in 2002.

Rooker has racked up plenty of honors. The Germantown, Tennessee, native is a first-team All-America selection, SEC Player of the Year and the National Player of the Year, per Collegiate Baseball. Rooker may not want to lock up his award case just yet as he’s a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which will be presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player at 6 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

Continuing to hit

After being a 38th round selection by the Minnesota Twins in 2016, Rooker’s standout season rocketed him up draft boards this year with the Twins selecting him 35th overall.

After signing with the Twins, Rooker —of course —has continued to hit. In five games with the Elizabethtown Twins, Rooker is hitting .316 with two homers and four RBIs.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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