Head coach John Cohen returns to a Mississippi State baseball uniform for the first time since concluding his playing career at MSU in the 1990 College World Series. He earned All-SEC honors as an outfielder during his three-year State career (1988-90) and has coached on the collegiate level the past 17 years, the last five at the University of Kentucky. Cohen was named MSU's 16th head baseball coach last June following the retirement of longtime Bulldog skipper Ron Polk.
"I am sure that when I walk out there on that field through that tunnel, there will be a little bit of emotion," said Cohen. "This is where I have always wanted to be. It's a very special place to me."
Cohen has tabbed junior right-hander Ricky Bowen for starting mound duties Friday against NIU. The Jasper, Ala., native led the Bulldog pitching staff with 73.1 innings pitched, 64 strikeouts and 13 starts in 2008.
Mississippi State returns 20 lettermen and 21 of the 30 Diamond Dogs that drew starts at various times during the 2008 season.