GPTV: Cohen Talks Kentucky Trip

One would think having coached there five seasons, John Cohen would have every detail of the venue ready for the scouting report. But this is exactly why Mississippi State’s skipper tells his current team, be ready for anything at Hagan Stadium. “The way that ballpark plays is unique, and weather always plays a factor there.”

An unpredictable factor, he means. Whether as Kentucky’s coach 2004-08, or having taken his 2013 Bulldog team there for a series, Cohen understands better than anyone. What happens one day doesn’t relate much to the next over the course of a SEC series.

“That’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize. They practice at Kentucky and hit a whole bunch of home runs at night. Then in the afternoon when the wind is blowing in the southwest it holds everything in. So again you’re not competing against an opponent, you’re really competing against the game and the conditions you’re confronted with.”

Of course the opponent will be challenging enough as Mississippi State (17-6, 1-2) plays its first SEC road series. The league-opener on the home field did not end well as the Bulldogs dropped a series to Alabama. Now even here in mid-March the urgency to win a weekend and even sweep is that much greater in long-term goals.

Kentucky is 13-7, 0-3 SEC after being swept at South Carolina and a Tuesday home loss to Ohio.

Cohen confirmed Wednesday the SEC rotation will remain RHP Preston Brown (3-1, 2.15), RHP Austin Sexton (3-0, 2.12), and LHP Vance Tatum (2-0, 2.73). After throwing nine complete innings in Tuesday’s win over Eastern Illinois, LHP Lucas Laster (3-0, 2.35) is done until next week. He will get the ball for the March 24 game in Pearl’s Trustmark Park against Southern Mississippi.

A full advance will be published Thursday. The first segment of Cohen’s Wednesday press conference is linked here.


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