Cohen Speaks on Eve of Big Series

The big series between Mississippi State (30-18, 11-13 SEC) and Ole Miss (27-21, 11-13) is a day away, and John Cohen got on the phone with reporters this morning to talk about it. I’ll have a full story on the matchup from the MSU angle in tomorrow’s Journal, but here’s a sampling of what Cohen had to say.

• SS Jonathan Ogden has been battling a pulled ab muscle, and Cohen sat him out of Game 2 at Tennessee last weekend. That might be the approach against Ole Miss, too.

“A little bit of that’s going to be the offensive matchup,” Cohen said. “The thing about him is from day to day we don’t know how much pain he’s in. … If he’s not at his best, we feel like (Adam) Frazier‘s a very viable option, especially against right-handed pitching. … Do I think Ogden is our best matchup there at shortstop? I would say absolutely – if he’s 100 percent healthy.”

Cohen said the coaches will check on Ogden at practice today to see how he’s doing.

• OF Brent Brownlee twisted his knee on Sunday and has been sore ever since. He’s a question mark for this weekend.

“Because of their left-handed pitching, he’s going to be important to us also, and his ability to run balls (down) in the outfield. We’re going to check on him and see how he’s doing today also.”

Outside of Ogden and Brownlee, Cohen said the Bulldogs are “pretty healthy, for now.”

• On whether playing Ole Miss in the Governor’s Cup (MSU won 6-1 on April 19) helps the scouting report: “I think it really helps when you’re putting that scouting report together, when you actually get to see their club.”

• On a sense of urgency to get back to the SEC Tournament and earn an NCAA bid (neither has happened since 2007): “They are very, very aware of what’s at stake, and every one of those kids desperately wants to get to Hoover, and they want to get to NCAA play. And I truly believe they will do everything in their power to do that.”

• Cohen said the team was scheduled to start practice today at 11:30 a.m. and go for about two hours.