Genespage.com has learned that junior shortstop Gunner Halter will not be returning to the Mississippi State baseball program next season. Halter signed on with the Bulldogs after two impressive seasons at Seminole State College (OK). Halter enrolled at Mississippi State and competed to take over as the team's starting shortstop. That competition opened up when it was learned that Luke Alexander would not return to the active roster for his senior season.
Halter competed with Jordan Westburg during the fall practice sessions and eventually won the starting job as the Bulldogs' second baseman. Halter started 43 games, most of those coming at second base. Halter would eventually platoon at third base with Marshall Gilbert after Justin Foscue became the team's everyday second baseman.
On the season, Halter hit .287 with one home run and 19 RBI. Perhaps Halter's biggest moment in a Bulldog uniform came in the SEC tournament when the former Kansas State signee drove in the game winning run against LSU in a 17-inning marathon win at Hoover.
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Halter did not have an at bat during the Starkville regional, but the Super Regional saw the versatile standout return to action appearing in both games against Stanford. Mississippi State went on to Omaha and the College World Series. In four at bats during the CWS, Halter had a pair of hits and two RBI.
The Major League Baseball draft took place earlier this month with a program record tying 11 Bulldogs being drafted. Halter was not one of those Diamond Dawgs who heard his name called. Halter was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2017 draft as a pitcher by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2018, the Cleveland Indians used their 26th round selection on Halter.
Each time Halter has been drafted, it has been as a pitcher. Seeking to improve his stock in the eyes of professional scouts, Halter opted to come to Mississippi State to prove that he was capable of holding down a full time day to day position.
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Halter's next step remains a bit of a mystery. The Overland Park, Kansas native has entered his name into the NCAA draft portal, but there is some chatter that a potential free agent deal with professional baseball could be in the works.
Mississippi State ended their season with a 9th inning loss to Louisville in an elimination game. The Bulldogs ended their time in Omaha with a 1-2 record and an overall mark of 52-15. State won a share of the SEC Western Division title with Arkansas and earned their program's second ever national seed.