Cohen Makes Some Unusual Coaching Moves but It Works


If you missed the game vs. LSU on Friday afternoon you missed a great one. State beat the #2 Tigers for the second time in three days, 4-3.

The whole time I’m watching this game I was scratching my head at the moves John Cohen was making. First, he starts Jacob Lindgren, a freshman (1st career start) over Evan Mitchell. That seemed to backfire with 3 runs in the first two innings but he settled down from there and ended up pitching 4 2/3 with only the 3 runs.

Then when Cohen decided to take Lindgren out, he did so on a 0-2 count with 2 outs in the inning. He is the only coach I have ever seen do this. But it seems to work so what the hay.

In the bottom of the 9th, Wes Rea hit a double to lead off the inning with State down 3-1. Cohen sends Matthew Britton in to pinch-run…I’m hollerin’ at the TV because Rea may be slow but he’s on 2nd base and won’t hold anyone up, his run doesn’t mean anything and he’s our only 1st baseman. After Frost made an out Daryl Norris got a hit and Brent Brownlee came in to run for him. Now I’m about to throw my shoe at the TV because we’re wasting Brownlee there when Britton should have been the one running for Norris. After Frazier (who is awesome by the way) gets a hit and Fullerton gets hit, Luis Pollorena (3 at bats all year) comes up – he had pinch-run for Trey Porter in the 8th. My hands are on my head as we realize Brownlee could be hitting if Cohen would’ve listened to me from 200 miles away. But Pollorena lifts one into centerfield for a sacrifice fly. Wow.

At this point I’m amazed, and wondering what the lineup card could possibly look like. Instead of discussing the lineup changes with the ump between innings, Cohen does so at a couple of different points during the bottom of the 10th. I have a feeling this was done to take the LSU pitcher out of rhythm. I say this because Cohen is always calling timeout to talk to the hitters for God knows why. But hey, it works! Mitch Slauter, who only had one hit in the tournament so far, rips a double…then .149 hitting Matthew Britton (keep in mind if I had gotten my way it would be Wes Rea) gets a base hit to win the game.

Ok, ok. No, I don’t get all the bunts, pitching changes, timeouts, substitutions, etc…but it doesn’t matter if I get it, it is working. Big time. This team is a lot of fun to watch. Go Dawgs!