Jordan Westburg sat at his locker and stared into space. Just minutes after the Mississippi State baseball team fell to Louisville 4-3 in Thursday's College World Series elimination game, the sophomore shortstop's face bore a ghostly look as if trying to reconcile what had transpired over the final two innings of the contest.
As I sat in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport between flights back to Starkville, I couldn't help but reflect on the past week's festivities.
The joy and jubilation of victory and the pain and agony of defeat directly converged in the outfield of TD Ameritrade Park Thursday night.
--Mississippi State freshman JT Ginn looked into his cap.
Former Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon has learned his post-graduation plans.
There was a somber tone to the Mississippi State locker room Wednesday afternoon.
Just minutes after falling 6-3 to second-seeded Vanderbilt in the College World Series, there was a visible irritation in the eyes of players around the space -- a staunch contrast from the jubilation and joy following Sunday's walk-off win over Auburn.
Chris Lemonis can still remember the humid South Carolina air.
It was 1989. Air conditioning units still hadn't made their way to The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
Joey Mellows started Sunday morning in Denver, Colorado.
For two days he watched the Colorado Rockies take on the San Diego Padres play baseball at Coors Field.
His immediate plan was not quite set. Rumblings on Twitter had brought mentions of Omaha, Nebraska, and the College World Series.
There was no Mississippi State baseball Tuesday. Official word came around 3:45 p.m. that No. 6 MSU's winners bracket matchup against No. 2 seed Vanderbilt (55-11) had been moved to today at 2 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park.
MSU and Vanderbilt will now play Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Standing in the shallow outfield grass just beyond shortstop at the Creighton University practice facility, MSU head baseball coach Chris Lemonis shouted across the diamond at sophomore first baseman Tanner Allen.
"Tanner you better work on that range," Lemonis barked toward Allen.
It started as a ploy from Tom Gautreau.
Serving as an affront in the Starkville Regional to Central Michigan's dugout antics -- which included a Yoda mask -- the uncle of MSU assistant baseball coach Jake Gautreau decided to bring the Bulldogs their own Star Wars themed prop.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Ahead of Sunday's wild win over Auburn, redshirt junior Ethan Small received a text message.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Marshall Gilbert is a man of routine.
Before every game he inscribes "daWgs" -- the "W" meaning "win" -- into the dirt behind third base.
In each at-bat, he peers toward the left field foul pole before settling into the batter's box.
Baseball is a game of superstition.
Senior center fielder Jake Mangum is chief among those players who believe in such things.
With a 9-0 record in the all-black "Nickelblack" uniforms entering the College World Series, Mangum pleaded with redshirt junior and Game 1 starter Ethan Small to don the jerseys Sunday.
Standing in right field during last season's College World Series matchup with North Carolina, senior outfielder Elijah MacNamee charged toward the infield.
Butch Thompson had made up his mind.
After spending four years as an assistant baseball coach at Georgia and another three at Auburn, Thompson, an Aberdeen native, had decided to join the Division I head coaching ranks at High Point University in North Carolina ahead of the 2009 season.
Elijah MacNamee sat at the foot of his locker at TD Ameritrade Park with a somber look on his face.
Minutes earlier, Mississippi State had been eliminated from the 2018 College World Series by way of a 5-2 defeat to eventual national champion Oregon State.
For the second time in as many years, Mississippi State baseball team is heading to the College World Series.
After dispatching of Southern University, Central Michigan and Miami in the Starkville Regional, MSU swept Stanford in the Super Regional to reach Omaha.
Elijah MacNamee is no longer allowed to openly admire his super regional handiwork -- at least not until his team's run in College World Series is complete.
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