John Cohen believes this year’s MSU team has a chance to be special. So does Baseball America.
The Bulldogs check in at No. 5 in Baseball America’s preseason rankings, which were released this morning. BA is the ranking recognized by the Daily Journal.
MSU is coming off a 40-24 season in which it won the SEC Tournament and reached an NCAA regional for the second consecutive season. An abundance of experience returns both on the mound and in the field.
I spoke with Cohen yesterday, and he’s really high on this team.
“This is a special group. This is a tight group,” he said. “This is a group that really has a singular focus. Sometimes as a coach you just step back, and you listen to these guys talk and perform, and you realize they’re on a very nice track to hopefully play really good baseball.”
In his breakdown of MSU, Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt wrote, “This is a very deep, balanced, battle-tested team with its eye on a national title, and anything less than a trip to Omaha will be a disappointment.”
MSU is ranked 13th by Collegiate Baseball and 16th Perfect Game. The Baseball America ranking is MSU’s highest in the preseason since being tabbed No. 1 in 1989. That team won the SEC and lost in the NCAA South Regional, ending the season 54-14.
BA ranks North Carolina No. 1. As for other SEC teams in the rankings, Vanderbilt is No. 2, Arkansas No. 3, South Carolina No. 7, LSU No. 10, Kentucky No. 11, Ole Miss No. 13, and Florida No. 17.
MSU opens the 2013 season on Feb. 15 with a four-game home series against Portland. SEC play begins the weekend of March 15 against LSU at home.