March 21, 2013
Diamond Dogs prep for first road trip
Mississippi State's first 24 games were played within the borders of its home state including 23 inside the friendly confines of Dudy Noble Field.
That will all change this weekend as the Bulldogs board a plane bound for the bluegrass of Kentucky for their first true road test of the season. MSU will take on the Wildcats in a three-game series beginning on Friday.
It will be the first trip back to Lexington for Diamond Dogs fifth year head coach John Cohen, who coached UK for five seasons leading the Wildcats to two NCAA Regionals and the 2006 SEC Championship.
"The schedule has been such that we obviously have not made that trip since we've been at Mississippi State," said Cohen. "I certainly have fond memories of Lexington with their great people and great administration. But we have a job to do and we need to have a good weekend. The schedule is not kind to us this year and it is never kind when you play in the Southeastern Conference. Their park plays different so we will have challenges in front of us. The main challenge is a very good Kentucky team playing at their home."
State swept the Wildcats in Starkville in the final weekend of SEC play a year ago and split a pair of games in the SEC Tournament the following week.
The Bulldog lone game away from home came last week when Mississippi State knocked off Southern Miss 13-5 in a neutral site game at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Cohen stated that his veteran players are anxious to go on the road for the first time this spring.
"I think they are excited about it and kids like going on the road and being in different environments," said Cohen. "When you have a veteran team that's been on the road before and most have had that experience, you should be able to do with it. I think when you spend too much time focusing on (being on the road) it can take away from your main focus. You have to spend more time on our identity and what we are trying to get accomplished."
Cohen plans to use the same pitching rotation he has used for the past two weekends. Sophomore southpaw Jacob Lindgren will get the opening start on Friday followed by junior righty Evan Mitchell on Saturday. Senior right-hander Kendall Graveman will get the ball in the finale on Sunday.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial