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Players ink baseball deals

Eight former Mississippi college baseball players are beginning their professional careers.

Mississippi State University officials said Thursday Nick Vickerson, Jarrod Parks, Jonathan Ogden and Wes Thigpen have all signed with their respective teams.

Vickerson, an infielder and 20th-round selection of the Texas Rangers, will report to the Spokane (Wash.) Indians of the Northwest League.

Parks, a third baseman who was taken in the 24th round by the Los Angeles Angels, is headed for the Orem (Utah) Owlz of the Pioneer League.

Neither Ogden nor Thigpen were drafted, but they were signed as free agents by the Detroit Tigers. A shortstop and catcher, respectively, the duo will report to the Tigers’ training center in Lakeland, Fla.

Also, four Southern Miss players have all signed to play professionally with most of their pro careers beginning over the next week.

Todd McInnis and Marc Bourgeois, start their pro careers Friday when their respective teams open their summer schedules.

McInnis, the Eagles’ all-time win leader with 33, will play in the Short-Season Class A New York-Penn League for the Batavia Muckdogs in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Bourgeois, an outfielder who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks will play for the Yakima Bears in the Short-Season Class A Northwest League in Canada.

Former Golden Eagle closer Collin Cargill, a Florida Marlins signee, will join the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Marlins.

Outfielder Tyler Koelling, the Cellular South Ferriss Trophy winner who signed with the Minnesota Twins, has not yet been given an assignment.

Also, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against him by former pitcher Forrest Moore.

The motion, which was filed last week in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, is in response to Moore’s lawsuit claiming that overuse and negligence by the coaching staff contributed to an elbow injury. Moore also alleges Cohen broke NCAA rules by exceeding practice time limits.

In the motion to dismiss, Cohen denies all serious allegations, and claims he cannot be liable for damages under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act for university employees.

Cohen is in his third season at Mississippi State. Moore played for the Bulldogs from 2007-09.