EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State baseball redshirt-junior pitcher Mason Erla was named a Second-Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, announced by the publication Tuesday.
After last year’s shortened season, Erla was a Second-Team All-American by the publication, becoming Michigan State’s first All-American since 2015 when relief pitcher Dakota Mekkes was a Third-Team National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-American. Erla was the Spartans’ first starting pitcher to earn All-American accolades since 1998, when Mark Mulder was a Third-Team Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger All-American.
A native of Cass City, Michigan, Erla posted a 2-0 record with a paltry 1.04 ERA in four starts, firing 42 strikeouts with only four overall runs allowed, with three earned, and just six walks in 26.0 IP. He ranked second in the B1G and 10th in the NCAA with 42 strikeouts, along with being tied for sixth in the conference with eight strikeouts looking. Erla also ranked second in the league and 49th in the nation with a 1.04 ERA, and ranked 16th in conference with a .211 batting average against. Additionally, Erla ranked fourth in the B1G and tied for 30th in the NCAA with 14.54 strikeouts per nine innings, along with ranking tied for fourth in the league and 74th in the nation with a 7.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Erla was named the Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Week and one of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s National Players of the Week on March 10 for his performance vs. Troy on March 6 in which he fired a career-high 12 strikeouts, and had a no-hitter going for 5.2 IP, not allowing a hit until the sixth inning to lead Michigan State to a 1-0 win over Troy in a Friday night pitchers’ duel. The Spartan hurler ended with 12 strikeouts over 7.0 IP, allowing just two hits, going 5.2 IP of no-hit baseball, before a single in the sixth and a bloop wind-aided, wind-blown double in the seventh. He didn’t allow a Troy base-runner to touch second base until the seventh inning, as he rang up a three-up, three-down inning in the first, second, fourth and fifth frames, and didn’t face more than four Troy batters in any inning, as the Trojans came into the game hitting .320 as a team.
The 12 strikeouts vs. Troy was Erla’s new career-high, marking the third time this season that he has set or tied a new career-best in four appearances. Erla tallied 11 Ks in the season-opener vs. Morehead State on Feb. 14 and matched that with 11 punchouts on Feb. 21 vs. Merrimack.
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