Blog – Cohen: Good chance to get Rea back this weekend

Mississippi State head coach John Cohen likes his chances of getting senior first baseman Wes Rea back this weekend.

He was used only as a pinch hitter last weekend as he had a sore leg after a hit by pitch in the opening weekend. Cohen said Rea practiced on Thursday.

“I thought he moved around really well, so we’ll wait and see how he is Friday,” Cohen said. “We’d obviously love to get him back out there and I think there’s a very good chance we’re going to get him back out there.”

Junior outfielder Michael Smith has been battling a hamstring injury and Cohen said he will either be back this weekend or next weekend.

Sophomore catcher Gavin Collins caught a bullpen on Thursday. He had surgery on his catching hand before the season started and was projected to miss anywhere from 3-5 weeks.

No. 14 MSU (9-0) plays Arizona (8-2) and Samford (3-4) this weekend.

MSU will meet Arizona at 4 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The matchup of the Bulldogs – MSU and Samford (3-4) – will be 35 minutes following the conclusion of game one on Saturday and then again at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Arizona and Samford will play each other at noon Friday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

SEC Network will carry the MSU/Arizona matchup on Saturday. SEC Network+ will have MSU’s game today and the second game of the double header on Saturday.

MSU traveled to Tucson, Ariz., last year to play the Wildcats. The teams ended up splitting the two games that they played.

“It’s fun to get to play a couple of west coast teams,” MSU senior shortstop Seth Heck said who hails from Edmonds, Wash. “We went out there and played (Arizona) last year and it didn’t really go our way. It’s nice to get a second chance here at Dudy Noble.”

Junior right hander Preston Brown (2-0, 2.45 ERA) will go against Arizona today, with the rest of the weekend rotation a wait and see type deal.

Cohen likes the luxury of watching the two teams play ahead of his club, to get a feel for each team’s tendencies.

“Arizona’s a little bit more left-handed than Samford, so if we feel like a left hander in game two on Saturday is more effective against Arizona, we’ll probably go with Lucas (Laster),” Cohen said. “If we feel like a right hander with a changeup is a better matchup, we’ll probably go with (Austin) Sexton.”

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