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Baseball season is fast approaching as Mississippi State will open their season on February 16 with a three-game series with the Cougars of Washington State.Â
Coach John Cohenâ€™s group looks to carry the momentum from their super regional run into this season by using just the right recipe for success.
â€śI feel like we have the recipe," Cohen said. "I feel like we have some guys with power, some guys that are runners, but more than anything I like the way we defend the field and the way we pitch.
"The strength of our club is the pitching staff. There is great experience there.â€ť
Indeed there is experience and leadership.
Caleb Reed will set the tone for the pitching staff giving Cohen a player to use as the model for how things are to be done at the SEC level.
â€śWe have outstanding leadership on the mound right now,â€ť Cohen said. â€śIt is really the first time since Iâ€™ve come back to Starkville that I felt like we had great experience, leadership and the skill level on the mound.â€ť
While Reed headlines the group as Stateâ€™s closer, heâ€™ll be joined by Chris Stratton, Nick Routt, Ben Bracewell, Louis Pollorena, Evan Mitchell and a host of others who bring Southeastern Conference experience to the table, an important fact when you consider the Bulldogs return only C.T. Bradford and Brent Brownlee as experienced offensive producers.
â€śI think we have some very good hitters in our program, they are just inexperienced,â€ť Cohen said. â€śAs they grow and get better, I feel like we are going to have the right recipe to have a pretty good team.â€ť
The recipe Cohen continues to refer to is simply based of the statistical data gathered using the past few years worth of College World Series participants.Â
â€śThe teams that all end up in Omaha are all good defensive teams,â€ť he said. â€śI took it one step further when we were looking at this as a staff. Are those teams great defensive teams because they are great defenders or because they good because they get a put out from the mound on a swing and miss? Those two things work together, the pitching and the defense, and I think we can excel in both of those areas.â€ť
In his eyes the game has changed and his current team reflects the look of the new college baseball.
â€śI think it is going to be much more of a recipe in college baseball," Cohen said. "There was a time in the late 90s, early 2000s where if you didnâ€™t hit 100 home runs, you couldnâ€™t win the College World Series. I just think that now it is much more of a recipe.â€ť
Mississippi State will continue to hold open practices at Dudy Noble field in preparation for their season opener thatâ€™s just over a week away. All fans are welcome to attend as the Diamond Dawgs get set for the 2012 season.View more articles in: