Despite being miles from home on Friday, Poplarville (Miss.) High School's Zac Houston made a decision to continue his baseball career in his home state. While pitching in the East Coast Pro showcase event in Syracuse, N.Y., the 2013 right-handed pitcher prospect committed to MSU head coach and the Diamond Dogs' program.
With his commitment, the 6-foot-6 and 215-pound Houston became MSU's eighth commitment for the Class of 2013.
"I actually committed to Mississippi State right after I got done pitching today," said Houston. "Once I got done pitching I called Coach Butch (Thompson) and he said one of their other coaches saw me pitch and was telling him how I did. Then I talked with Coach Cohen and talked to him. I decided to call Coach Butch back and said I was ready to commit. He got very excited and then wanted me to call Coach Cohen back.
"So yeah, it was an amazing day."
Houston also held offers from Ole Miss and Southern Miss and noted that LSU, Alabama, Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana also showed interest. He also added that MSU started recruiting him this spring and always made him feel comfortable.
"They saw me pitch a couple of times earlier this summer," said Houston. "Then they saw me pitch again today and they've recruited me well since the start of this summer."
And it was his bond with the MSU coaches, he said, that made his college decision an easy one to make.
"More than anything it was the coaching staff," said Houston. "They are amazing coaches and Coach Thompson is an amazing man. I feel I can learn a lot from him and I can benefit a lot with him being my pitching coach."
This past season as a junior Houston was 7-2 on the mound with a 1.70 era. He also had two saves and struck out 61 batters and walked 15 in 61.2 innings of work.
Owning a trio of pitches on the mound, Houston said he is pretty excited about his future opportunity to play in the SEC ranks.
"Mississippi State likes me as a starting pitcher," said Houston. "I throw a fastball, curveball and changeup and I can throw them all for strikes consistently. I also hit 93 (mph) this summer with my fastball.
"It feels great knowing I will be in the SEC. I feel so honored to be able to play with some of the best kids around and I am very, very excited about that."