It’s the offseason for sports in Calhoun County, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to talk about in that realm as we head into the summer.
This college baseball season has been a strong one for the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss and Mississippi State earned regional host bids and Southern Miss, who was just on the outside looking in as far as hosting, earned a 2-seed in the Oxford Regional, almost knocking off the Rebels.
At the end of the day, however, it’s Ole Miss and State who are advancing to the super regional round. The Rebels, the No. 12 overall seed, will be traveling to Tuscon to take on the Arizona Wildcats with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Mississippi State will play host to Notre Dame. Those 3-game series will take place next weekend.
In case you’re not familiar with the format, there are 16 teams still alive in the tournament with eight super regional sites, each featuring two teams. Eight of those 16 teams will advance to Omaha and be a part of the College World Series, and those eight will battle it out in a tournament in Nebraska for a national title. In order to advance out of the super regional round, a team has to win two of the three games played, so nerves are always high, and every pitch matters.
I’m a big baseball fan regardless, but I love this time of year in the college baseball season. EA Sports produced a couple of college baseball video games in 2006 and 2007, and my friends and I have really scratched our nostalgia itch by breaking these games out lately and paving our own way to Omaha. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, too, if I say so myself.
College sports in any form are always fun and special, and that extends to baseball as well, especially here in the early-to-mid summer when the sport enters the national consciousness. There’s something magical about a team putting it all together late in the year and making it to the College World Series. This year, we have a chance to have two Mississippi teams representing the state when that time comes around. Hopefully we’ll get to see that chance realized.