Video: Cohen, O’Connor Speak; Also, Draft Updates

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. | The head coaches formally addressed the media at Davenport Field today on the eve of the super regional, which starts tomorrow with a noon Central first pitch. Senior right-hander Kendall Graveman (6-5, 2.94 ERA) confirmed today that he will be the starting pitcher for MSU (46-18), and he’ll go against Virginia lefty Brandon Waddell (6-2, 3.80), a freshman.

MSU coach John Cohen has not set his pitching plans beyond Game 1.

“The neat thing is about Game 1 is you get the opportunity to watch your opponent play, so that’ll give us an opportunity to evaluate a little bit,” Cohen said. “Certainly Kendall’s a senior, he’s one of our guys who pitched last Friday night for us. We feel like with his leadership he gives us the best opportunity to get off to a good start.”

State’s pitching staff will face a Virginia offense that’s hitting .313 this year, with seven players batting over .300. The Cavaliers (50-10) are especially good at scoring late in the game.

“When you watch them play on TV and look at the numbers, it’s not just that they score run, it’s that they don’t strike out. They do a great job getting on base. They make the pitcher work – every at-bat’s a great at-bat,” Cohen said.

• An injury update from Virginia coach Brian O’Connor: He said shortstop Branden Cogswell, who’s missed the last 13 games with a broken finger, will be available this weekend.

“I don’t know yet in what capacity he will, but he did swing the bat the last couple of days, he did take ground balls, he is throwing,” O’Connor said. “I’m just not quite sure in what capacity he will play in this weekend.”

• The setup for the super regional round as far as who’s home and who’s visitor is that the host is the home team in Game 1, and the other team is home in Game 2. Home team for Game 3 is decided by a coin flip, which MSU won. So if there is a third game Monday, the Bulldogs will be in the home dugout.

• Three Bulldogs have been drafted so far today: shortstop Adam Frazier (Pirates, sixth round), Graveman (Blue Jays, eighth round) and pitcher Chad Girodo (ninth round, Blue Jays). Frazier is a junior, the other two seniors.

“I feel pretty blessed and excited to get the opportunity to go play for the Pirates,” Frazier said. “I’m glad to have that off my chest and focus on playing ball now, I guess.”

Also drafted today was MSU football signee Cord Sandberg, in the third round by the Phillies. He has until July 12 to decide whether he’ll sign or come play for State, but Matt Stevens of the Commercial Dispatch said Sandberg told him he intends to sign with Philadelphia.

I am the online content coordinator for I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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