The recognition is already rolling in for Mississippi State’s baseball team.
After sweeping Auburn over the weekend, the Bulldogs slid into the national rankings, at No. 24 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. (They were not ranked by Baseball America – which is the poll used by the Daily Journal.)
It’s the first time MSU has been ranked since 2009, coach John Cohen’s first season. Collegiate Baseball, which does a Top 30, had the Bulldogs at No. 26 in Week 2 and 25th in Week 4. Then it went downhill, with MSU finishing the year 25-29.
Cohen figured his team might garner a little attention for the Auburn sweep, but he said Sunday he’s going to try and ignore it.
“Our kids will live on the Internet, they’ll say, ‘Hey, we’re moving up,’ and excited, but we (coaches) won’t even discuss or think about that,” Cohen said.
Also Monday, Bulldogs pitcher-infielder Daryl Norris was selected as the SEC freshman of the week.
At the plate, Norris was 5 of 9 with two RBIs and four runs scored on the weekend. On Sunday, he took the mound and tossed 51⁄3 innings of two-hit relief to earn his first career win.
Norris is second on the team with a .359 average and boasts an ERA of 0.75 in four appearances.
It’s Cohen’s hope that the Bulldogs can stay focused on tonight’s opponent, Alabama A&M (3-19). First pitch is set for 6:30, with sophomore Andrew Busby (1-0, 4.32) set to pitch for MSU.
“Teams come into your place, they’re really excited about playing you, you need to match their enthusiasm,” Cohen said Sunday. “The minute you’re not, you can get into a really tough situation.”
• SEC baseball updates, Page 3B
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal