Mississippi State Fans Swarm Omaha; Cheer on Bulldogs to CWS Final
It may as well have been a home game for Mississippi State.
For the past week, fan bases of eight different college baseball teams could be spotted all over Omaha. No one team's fans stood out as a solid majority.
All of that changed Friday afternoon.
As Hunter Renfroe, Wes Rea and the rest of the Bulldog baseball team did what they needed to do in order to oust the Oregon State Beavers by a score of 4-1 and advance to the College World Series final, the true stars of the day were the Bulldog fans.
In what was probably the least attended game thus far in Omaha, Mississippi State maroon dominated the stands as well as the pregame festivities around the stadium. Not only were the Bulldog fans seen, but they were heard as well.
Before the game, each team's fans were directed by the PA announcer to identify themselves. Oregon State's went first, letting out a sizable roar from the respectable contingent they had on hand.
When it was time for the Bulldog faithful to let their presence be known, the entire third base side of the stadium erupted into a rumble of cheers and bulldog barks.
"Hail State" had arrived.
Many of them arrived in Omaha over the past couple of days, deciding to make the trip once the Bulldogs reached the final four. A group of three Bulldog fans wearing "Bench Mobb" tees told me how they had arrived in Omaha from Brookhaven, Miss. by car early this morning after driving all night.
"We're happy to finally be here," one of them said. "Omaha is just awesome."
After a solid outing from Kendall Graveman, a three-run round tripper by Hunter Renfroe, another solid day at the plate from Wes Rea and a save by Jonathan Holder, the Bulldogs and their fans are going to be hanging around Omaha for a couple more days while they await the winner of UCLA and North Carolina (who has to defeat UCLA twice to advance) in the College World Series final starting Monday night.
After the game, Bulldog coach John Cohen offered up a sense of what his team is feeling. "Our kids just believe something good's going to happen. I know it sounds crazy, sounds cliche, but our kids just think something good is going to happen. And, by the way, so do our coaches. And it has. I think these guys are on a little bit of a roll for sure."
That roll has brought what seems like half of Mississippi to the state of Nebraska.
Looking around town at what fans are left, it looks like Omaha is Bulldog City this weekend. Welcome to Starkville-North.
J.P. Scott is a Senior Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand via the postgame press conference.
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