Cohen Changes Rotation, Speaks on Polk

After the team bus got through Gordo, Ala., Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen was able to find a strong enough phone signal to join the weekly SEC coaches teleconference this morning. He confirmed that his pitching rotation will be flipped for this weekend’s series at Vanderbilt: Forrest Moore on Friday, Nick Routt on Saturday (as usual), and Tyler Whitney on Sunday.

“We just felt like we’ve really struggled on Sunday. And matching Whitney up with the best guy on Friday night probably doesn’t work for us,” Cohen said. “We feel like we’re going to score, hopefully put more runs up as the weekend goes on.”

This move comes on the heels of Sunday’s 22-17 loss to Kentucky, a game in which Cohen used seven pitchers. Starter Ricky Bowen lasted only four batters.

Cohen also was asked about his predecessor, Ron Polk. Another writer is doing a story on the new coaches in the league and their thoughts on past greats like Polk and Skip Bertman. I’m not going to steal his thunder here, but Cohen had some interesting comments about Polk, whom he said he sees nearly every Monday.

“I want Ron Polk to be part of our program again,” Cohen said. “He does need to patch things up with our administration, because he said some things that, frankly, he shouldn’t have said.” Cohen also credited Polk with MSU drawing 10,000-plus fans at Saturday’s game versus Kentucky. “I think that speaks volumes about what Coach Polk did and what Mississippi State baseball is.”

Yes, Polk said many incendiary things during last year’s coach search. He is currently a volunteer assistant at UAB.

(P.S.: Please let me know if my bold-facing of certain phrases is helpful or annoying.)