In all fairness, Mississippi State's Wes Rea has a pretty distinct advantage when it comes to standing out in any crowd.
The 6'5", 270-pound Gulfport, Miss. native doesn't usually have to do a whole lot to get people to notice him. Throughout his first two games in the 2013 College World Series, however, he's made sure people take notice of more than just his size.
Rea is 4-for-9 with 3 RBI at the plate thus far in Omaha. His clutch hitting in both games Mississippi State has played in have been an instrumental part of the Bulldogs getting to within one game of the championship series. With his team winning back-to-back one-run games, you could argue that the runs he has knocked in are the reason the Bulldogs are still alive.
In addition to his baseball talents, Rea just comes off as a likable guy. Every time you see him talking with teammates, the guy has a smile on his face. When he struck out at the plate earlier in the game against Indiana, he paid homage to the great pitch thrown by the opposing pitcher with a complete spin of his body, signifying that he really had been duped.
Then there was the time when the first base umpire called him out at the plate, claiming Rea's bat had gone around. Rather than get all upset and argue like so many do, Rea made it a point to walk up to the umpire who stands next to the plate he guards and commend him on the call.
What many may not know about Wes Rea is that he might also be the most talented athlete on the field. Coming out of high school, Rea was a highly recruited offensive guard on the gridiron, receiving 11 scholarship offers from BCS programs, including one from Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers, like the rest of the football programs who took a stab at Rea, came up short. Instead, Nebraskans will have to enjoy the show he puts on in the state on the baseball diamond over the next week or so.
I personally can't wait to see what he does next.
On the last play of the game Monday night against Indiana, Rea made what might end up being the biggest play of the series. When Mississippi State closer Jonathan Holder fielded a routine ground ball to the mound that was almost a gimme to end the game, he did the unthinkable and one-hopped his throw to first base. Rea, playing first base, simply fielded the one-hop throw like any of the thousands of ground balls he's probably fielded in his life. The runner was called out and the Bulldogs moved on.
As Rea and Holder ran at each other to celebrate, you could see Rea point at him and mouth something to the extent of "I got you, boy!"
You've got all of us for the next couple of days, Wes. We couldn't be happier about it.
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