We got a good 12-plus minutes with baseball coach John Cohen on a teleconference this morning, as he prepares the Bulldogs for a crucial home series against Ole Miss. Game 1 is Friday at 7:05 pm (SportSouth).
There was a lot of talk about getting his players to work on hitting to the center of the field during practice and BP, and that will be the theme of my story for tomorrow's Journal. MSU is hitting just .237 in SEC play.
"That's one thing that in the past 10 years my clubs have been able to do that, and this club for a variety of reasons just has not been able to get a lot of balls to the center of the field," Cohen said. "A lot of that has to do with experience, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of things that we're doing are new because you have new players."
Here are a few more highlights from today's chat.
• "Having the extra day off this week has been great; the Sunday day off was just huge. I think our kids had much more energy and enthusiasm on Tuesday even though offensively we didn't perform the way we wanted to. … I think our kids feel pretty good about the way we're playing, especially on the mound and defensively right now."
• On tomorrow's pitching matchup of Chris Stratton (7-0, 2.71 ERA) vs. Bobby Wahl (5-0, 2.15): "I'm just going to give you coach speak, which is why is this night going to be any different than any other Frida night in this league?"
• On MSU's offensive struggles: "When things aren't going well offensively, it seems like it hasn't evened out for us this year in that area. You just think the law of averages is going to come our way."
• On the experience of the pitching staff: "Our pitchers right now are just older, and they're more mature than our positional players, and everything they do is just more productive. I tease our kids all the time, even the way they huddle up is more productive, more confident. It's an amazing phenomenon of what age and experience does for you."