Bulldogs, Rebels to Battle in Pearl

For tonight, at least, the records really don’t matter. I know, that’s cliché, but look at last year. MSU, which finished last in the SEC, and Ole Miss, which hosted a Super Regional, split four games, with the Bulldogs taking two of three in Oxford.

Tonight, they meet again at Trustmark Park in Pearl in the fourth annual Governor’s Cup (né Mayor’s Trophy). John Cohen, MSU’s second-year coach, has had particular success against Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco, holding a 17-11 record over their careers.

“When you play each other one time in the middle of the week, I don’t think that’s ever an indication of where your clubs are,” Cohen said. “But I’ve been very fortunate, I personally have had great success against Ole Miss, and they’re always good. Mike’s done a really solid job there, and again, they’ve had a good recruiting plan for a while now to have that good balance. That’s where we’ve got to get to.”

That’s right, Cohen also used the name “Ole Miss,” not “The School Up North.” When I told him Dan Mullen would be disappointed, he just laughed. But Cohen did point to Bianco’s program as a model one.

“They defend well, and they pitch well,” Cohen said. “Their offensive numbers are OK. They’re a good club. They have that nice mixture that we’re trying to get here at Mississippi State. They have that nice mixture of old guys to help you with the young guys.”

First pitch is 6:30 p.m. Freshman left-hander C.C. Watson will start on the mound for MSU, while Ole Miss will counter with sophomore righty David Goforth.

A couple of other notes:

• Cohen said there’s nothing new on injured sophomore LHP Nick Routt (arm). “We’ll just see where he is in a couple of weeks, and hopefully he’ll be ready to go.”

• Freshman 2B Sam Frost banged up his knee on Sunday, but Cohen said there’s a “good chance” he’ll play tonight.