Mississippi State

A former Coast baseball star 'busted his butt' for a shot at the SEC. His chance has arrived.

Pearl River Central shortstop Anthony Hickman tries to find the ball as Hattiesburg's A.J. Stinson dives back to second during the third inning of their 5A South State playoff game in Carriere on May 13, 2015.
Pearl River Central shortstop Anthony Hickman tries to find the ball as Hattiesburg's A.J. Stinson dives back to second during the third inning of their 5A South State playoff game in Carriere on May 13, 2015. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

A former Pearl River Central baseball standout is set to fulfill his dream of playing in the SEC.

East Mississippi Community College infielder Anthony Hickman announced Monday on a visit to Starkville that he has verbally committed to Mississippi State.

He chose to the Bulldogs over an offer to join the South Alabama program.

Hickman first heard from the Mississippi State staff a week ago, informing him that they wanted him to come up for a visit.

“Mississippi State was always my go-to school,” Hickman said. “I've always loved Mississippi State. Since I was 12 years old, I wanted to play at Mississippi State. I went to junior college and busted my butt to finally get the opportunity to play at MSU. It's a great opportunity.”

Hickman, who finished at EMCC with a 3.6 GPA, will be on academic scholarship at MSU.

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The Mississippi State baseball program has allocated all of its scholarship money for the Class of 2018, but the staff told Hickman that there's the possibility that he could receive a scholarship depending on how many Bulldogs sign with Major League squads this summer.

Hickman hit .315, with a team-leading eight homers, 14 doubles and 32 runs scored as a sophomore at EMCC.

At Mississippi State, Hickman plans to fit in wherever he's needed.

“They see me at short, third or second,” Hickman. “If he needs me, he can throw me into the outfield sometimes.”

Hickman plans to enroll in classes at MSU this summer.

“I want to come up kind of early, start working out and start bonding with the team,” he said.

Hickman, who hit .323 as a freshman at EMCC, was a standout shortstop at Pearl River Central, hitting .379 as a junior and .292 as a senior.

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