SEC's leading hitter enduring back pain

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Jarrod Parks is putting in more miles on the road this week than he’d meant to, but he at least has a chance to give his aching back some rest.
The Mississippi State third baseman drove to Jackson on Monday to receive an epidural injection for a bulging disc in his back. Turns out Parks wasn’t due down there until today, so after taking two final exams Monday night, he’ll have to hit the road again this morning.
Parks, a senior, missed the 2010 season after undergoing surgery on the back, which he injured as a freshman at Meridian Community College. He’s now leading the SEC in hitting, with a .409 average, and is in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak.
“I just figured this would be a good week to do it,” Parks said of the injection.
The Bulldogs (24-16, 7-11 SEC) are off until Saturday, when they open a home series against Alabama with a doubleheader. Parks is expected to play.
He isn’t the only one in need of healing. Senior shortstop Jonathan Ogden is supposed to do some rehab for a pulled abdominal muscle he’s been playing with all season, and freshman C.T. Bradford is working through a pulled hamstring.
“Jarrod Parks and Jonathan Ogden, really this entire year, have played in pain almost every single day,” coach John Cohen said. “They’re such tough kids, they don’t really talk about how much pain they’re in.”
Ogden is batting .274 and has a team-leading seven home runs. He’s also made a team-high 16 errors in the field.
Bradford, an outfielder and pitcher, is batting .308 but wasn’t able to pitch this past weekend due to the injury, which he suffered last week against Ole Miss.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or brad.locke@journalinc.com.