Wednesday, June 26, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State's strong run ends in College World Series
Mississippi State couldn't overcome recent history or the UCLA pitching staff, and its quest for a national championship fell short. The Bulldogs lost 8-0 to the Bruins on Tuesday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Game 2 of the College World Series finals. MSU (51-20) was going for its first national title. This was MSU's ninth CWS appearance, and the fifth for UCLA. It was State's best showing in Omaha, as it won the first three games before meeting the Bruins.
MSU students travel 36 hours from England in time to catch Tuesday's game
After more than 36 hours of travel by train, plane and car, three Bulldog fans stood outside the TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, making good on a promise agreed to across an ocean. Monday, the Mississippi State University juniors were in England on their last day of a month-long trip with the International Mission Board. Walker Jackson, 20, of Winona, and friends Nathan Reynolds, 21, and Nathan Ball, 20, knew they would be in England during most of the College World Series, but their trip was scheduled to end in time for the finals. "I knew that we were hot at the right time, had a good team and were capable of it," said Ball, of Starkville.
Pitchers pitch in to aid students with disabilities
Mississippi State University pitcher Luis Pollorena knows the difference a volunteer can make. As a childhood cancer survivor, he once was given the opportunity to meet Ken Griffey Jr. through the Make-a-Wish program. Pollorena, who now volunteers alongside fellow pitcher Kendall Graveman at the university's ACCESS program, which helps students with intellectual disabilities transition into higher education, has come full circle. "Being able to give back, being there for them, is important," Pollorena said.
Too poor to go to Omaha? MSU fans blast ESPN over game comments
Social media is blowing up over comments ESPN booth announcer Mike Patrick made about Mississippi State fans during Game 1 of the College World Series finals in Omaha, Neb., on Monday night. Patrick said at one point during the game, "The coaches told us this morning a lot of people came here from Mississippi ... that can't afford the trip, but they came here to support their kids. They are so proud of them and everybody is waiting for this team to explode." Many members of the Bulldog Nation took offense at the comments and immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to post their anger and disgust over the comments.
Some MSU fans in uproar over reported ESPN comment
Some Mississippi State University fans are venting on social media over reported comments made by ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Patrick during Monday night's College World Series game against UCLA. Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin responded to the complaints on Twitter. "Many Bulldog fans have made sacrifices to support team in Omaha," Stricklin wrote Tuesday. "MSU appreciates ESPN's attempt to applaud the devotion our great fan base."
Dawgs Bite Back at ESPN Commentary
An ESPN commentator offends some members of the Bulldog nation after making a remark about the economic sacrifices that many made to make the trip to Omaha, Neb. It was the world of social media that ended up exploding, as several fans fired back at ESPN. MSU Athletic Director Scott Stricklin also used social media to respond.
MSU Professor Gets Inspiration in Kosovo
In the capital of war-torn Kosovo where children grapple with a national history of ethnic cleansing and organized crime, one Mississippi State University professor found -- and taught -- hope. Rich Raymond, also head of MSU's English department, took sabbatical leave from MSU during January through July of 2012 to pursue a Fulbright Scholarship in the Eastern European nation. In Kosovo, Raymond taught American literature and academic research methods to 22 master's students studying teaching at the University of Pristina, located in Kosovo's capital city. Raymond recently published a 229-page book detailing how his students developed critical thinking skills to evaluate the paradoxes of slavery and liberty, as well as justice and injustice --- the story of how they learned American literature.
Keith Gets Additional Role at MSU
The director of Mississippi State University's Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering is taking on an additional role with the land-grant institution. Earnest W. Deavenport Jr. Chair Jason Keith will lead the MSU Energy Institute, which is administrated jointly by the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. "I see my teaching and research background in energy and materials as complementary to the mission of both the department and the Energy Institute," he said.
MSU hosts autism youth camp
When Bernice Johnson was young, she had an aunt and uncle who did not know how to read. The aunt and uncle both had special needs, Johnson said, and they never went to school, but they did have functional skills like cleaning the house. At about 14 years old, she said, she and her twin sister decided to teach the aunt and uncle to read. She said that was the beginning of her career in special education, which she now studies at Mississippi State University.
Fostering music appreciation; local children attend Symphony Fun Fest
About 70 local youths plucked string instruments, banged on drums and tooted horns Tuesday during the Symphony Fun Fest at MSU Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts. In addition to the annual Symphony Fun Fest, the Meridian Symphony Association also sponsors visits by renowned guest musicians to area schools, offers a backstage program where students can visit the Riley Center during concert rehearsals and provides violin and cello lessons to area children.
Snakes find west Biloxi neighborhood attractive
A snake is rarely considered a welcome visitor, and one Biloxi neighborhood has had more of the cold-blooded visitors than it cares for. Patti Guider of Edgewater Park almost lost her 90-pound American Akita, Bella, to a water moccasin bite in May. Two weeks ago, she killed another snake in her backyard. "It's been scary," she said. Another resident shot video of a 4-foot gray rat snake crossing the road last week. As for the rat snake, Mississippi State University Assistant Extension Professor Bronson Strickland said it is a "very good snake to have around," because it eats mice and rats.
Legislators expect extension, not expansion of Medicaid
Hours after Gov. Phil Bryant announced a Thursday special session of the state legislature to address Medicaid concerns, Senator Terry Burton, R-Newton, spoke with future nurse practitioners on the Mississippi University for Women campus. Burton, a seasoned politician who currently chairs the senate energy committee and serves as vice chairman of the senate appropriations committee, spoke to the students about the challenges they would face as future health care providers given the upcoming changes in insurance and, potentially, the expansion of Medicaid, a measure that is being fought by the state's Republican leadership.
Ruling means state will get voter ID
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, armed with Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling on the federal Voting Rights Act, said his office would begin immediately to enact voter identification requirements. The Republican secretary of state predicted that the state's law requiring a person to provide a government-issued photo ID to vote would be in effect for the party primary elections next June. He said he does not believe his office can enact the law soon enough to be used for any special elections later this year. The state's photo ID law, originally passed by voters in 2011, has been blocked by the U.S. Department of Justice as it gathered information on whether the ID requirement weakened minority-voter participation. But based on Tuesday's historic 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Mississippi will no longer have to get changes to its election laws approved by the Justice Department before they can be enacted.
Supreme Court decision gives Mississippi voter ID go-ahead
A Supreme Court ruling Tuesday strips power over voting and election rules from the federal government and returns it to states such as Mississippi with discriminatory pasts. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, effectively eliminated the federal advanced-approval power over voting laws from the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Justice Department had used this "preclearance" power to shoot down the literacy tests, poll taxes, gerrymandering and more subtle measures that were used to inhibit minority voting. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said the ruling will allow him to "start today" on implementing a state voter ID law that had been awaiting federal approval.
Voting rights protection: Enough progress in Mississippi? Depends on perspective
Some Mississippi politicians and officials say the state has moved beyond the era when it needed to be under federal watch for discriminatory voting practices, while others say the state hasn't made enough progress. On Tuesday, there were mixed reactions on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively kills the Department of Justice preclearance requirement until Congress updates the formula that says which states are subject to it under the Voting Rights Act. Longtime state Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood, disagrees on preclearance. "I have no doubt about it; it's still desperately needed in Mississippi," Jordan said. "I'm willing to go to Washington to testify to that."
Mississippi voter ID law expected to be used by 2014
Mississippi voters could have to start showing photo identification at the polls by the June 2014 federal primaries, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that certain state and local governments no longer need federal approval to change their own election laws or procedures. Many Republican officials in Mississippi, including Hosemann, applauded the ruling and said people in the state have embraced nondiscriminatory voting procedures. "We're not the same old Mississippi that our fathers' fathers were," said Hosemann, the state's top elections official, said during a news conference at the state Capitol.
Mississippi lawmakers split over court's voting rights decision
Mississippi's Republican lawmakers applauded Tuesday's Supreme Court decision striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, saying the state has come a long way from its tumultuous past of discrimination at the polls. "Today's ruling is a recognition of the fact that things have changed in the last 50 years," said Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo, 4th District. But Rep. Bennie Thompson, the lone Democrat in the Mississippi delegation, said the ruling could be detrimental not only in the state but nationally.
Beyond Black and White, New Force Reshapes South
The Deep South was, quite literally, a black and white world in 1965, when Congress approved the Voting Rights Act, sweeping away barriers that kept African-Americans from the polls. And the Supreme Court decision on Tuesday, which struck down a key part of the law, is certain to set off a series of skirmishes over voting regulations between the white Republicans who control Southern state legislatures and civil rights groups seeking to maximize black voter clout. But those who have studied the region closely say that a more unstoppable force is approaching that will alter the power structure throughout the South and upend the understanding of politics there: demographic change.
Reaction mixed to Supreme Court decision
For some Pine Belt residents, the sting of racism felt at the ballot box is an ever-present memory. They say the protection offered by a key provision Voting Rights Act -- struck down Tuesday by the Supreme Court -- is still very much needed. When Jeannette Smith arrived in Hattiesburg in 1959 with her husband, Dr. C.E. Smith, Jim Crow was the law of the land in Mississippi. As a black woman in the South during the '50s and '60s, Smith remembers the requirements blacks were subject to in order to exercise their civil rights. Now, by removing the federal oversight of voting laws in states such as Mississippi, Smith said the Supreme Court is forgetting the sacrifice of individuals in the civil rights movement to get to vote.
USM professor says SCOTUS voting ruling is a disappointment
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional. University of Southern Mississippi history professor Kevin Greene says this ruling is a disappointment to those who fought for their right to vote prior to the 1960s and could be a step back for equality at the polls in Mississippi. "Right now, Mississippi has pretty limited voter identification laws," said Greene. But, he says that with this ruling, he sees the state getting one step closer to requiring identification at the polls. "Our recent mayoral election has given fuel to that argument," he said.
For locals, court decision removes federal hoop
City and county annexations, redistricting and changes in voting places need not gain federal pre-approval before taking effect, under a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act. "State law and other Voting Rights Act provisions would control these kinds of decisions," said John Hill, attorney for the City of Tupelo, after the nation's highest court struck down a key part of the 48-year-old law requiring federal pre-clearance of voting changes in nine states, mostly in the South, deemed to have practiced racial discrimination in elections. Hill, who was active in working with officials on Tupelo ward changes recently, said it now appears that it's up to Congress to decide which states are covered.
Some in GOP form Mississippi Senate conservative group
Eleven of the 32 Republicans in the Mississippi Senate said Tuesday that they're forming a conservative coalition to help evaluate bills. "We are not disgruntled. We are not unhappy. We are not rogue. We are not covert. We are not subversive," Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, the coalition chairman, said in announcing the group. However, it's been one of the worst-kept secrets at the Capitol the past few months that some senators who aren't close to Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves have allied with each other. McDaniel said the coalition is inviting colleagues to join, but it's unclear whether that will happen.
Youngblood moving from MDA to Treasurer's Office
Longtime communications professional Lee Youngblood, 43, is leaving the Mississippi Development Authority to work for state Treasurer Lynn Fitch. Youngblood said he'll start work Monday in communications and policy in the Treasurer's Office. He graduated from Mississippi College with a master's degree in communications. He worked at the Meridian Star newspaper as a staff writer and on the news team at WGBC, the NBC affiliate in Meridian, before joining then-Sen. Trent Lott's staff in 1998. Youngblood worked in Lott's Washington and Jackson offices. In 2008, he joined the MDA disaster-recovery team headed by Chief Operations Officer Jon Mabry, a certified internal auditor who came from the private sector.
New Cord Blood Law Set to Begin In July
Starting next week doctors and midwives in Mississippi will soon be required to take samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some teenager mothers. The new law, which kicks in in July, is intended to catch older men having sex with young girls. Mississippi will be the first state in the nation to require this type of evidence collection. Many doctors in the state already collect these samples but instead of it being used for medical purposes it could now become criminal evidence.
Mississippi charter school advocates form association
Groups that pushed for the passage of Mississippi's new charter school law have formed an association to promote the schools. The Mississippi Charter School Association's creation was announced Tuesday at a meeting to encourage people who might be interested in creating such schools to start organizing. It's being founded by supporters of the law including the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Mississippi First, Black Alliance for Educational Options and Better Education for Mississippi. All supported the expansion of power to create charter schools in the 2012 regular session of the Legislature.
Barbour, Lott on hand in London to announce new Butler Snow office
The law firm of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada is opening an office in London, England. The announcement was made in London by Parliament members Hugh Bayley of the Labour Party, and Tobias Ellwood of the Conservative Party and former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, former Gov. Haley Barbour and former U.S. Rep. John Tanner of Butler Snow. Donald Clark Jr., chairman of Butler Snow, says the firm will provide U.S. tax advice for high net worth families, their businesses and their advisers.
White House threatens to veto House Agriculture spending bill
The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto another House spending bill for 2014, deepening the sense that another fiscal cliff on appropriations and the debt ceiling looms in the fall. The Agriculture spending bill, which covers the USDA, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Food and Drug Administration operating budget, is coming before the Rules Committee Tuesday but has not yet been given floor time. The Obama administration listed failure to provide $120 million for CFTC to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform law as a reason for the veto threat.
Bye-bye 'Meatless Mondays'
Forget that failed farm bill -- House Republicans had the livestock industry's back when it came to "Meatless Mondays" in the Longworth cafeteria. The short-lived nutrition venture -- if it was ever even that -- ended quickly this month after pork and other livestock interests, calling themselves the "Farm Animal Welfare Coalition," complained to the House Administration Committee. The Republican-controlled panel says the whole incident was blown out of proportion: that meat dishes were always available in Longworth and the intent had never been more than to promote meatless options. But the back-and-forth reads like a script from a Stephen Colbert satire on top of the House Republicans' failure again to pass a farm bill -- including assistance for drought-stricken ranchers.
Miss USM 2013 prepares for Miss Mississippi in July
Miss University of Southern Mississippi 2013 gave family and supporters a chance Tuesday night to see what outfits she'll be wearing when she competes in the Miss Mississippi Pageant next month. During a trunk show at USM's Thad Cochran Center, Hannah Roberts showed off several dresses and swimwear for the upcoming pageant, to be held in Vicksburg beginning July 10th. Roberts is a 20-year-old junior biochemistry major from Covington County.
East Mississippi Community College continues push for money to expand
East Mississippi Community College representatives say construction projects are needed to help with an expected influx of students and workforce trainees associated with Golden Triangle industrial developments. EMCC and representatives from area counties are expected to meet Friday in Macon to continue discussing expansion projects and funding options. EMCC officials are currently in the planning and fund-procuring stages for two new facilities -- a student housing complex for its Scooba campus and a Golden Triangle campus student union with classroom space -- which are estimated to cost a combined $34 million.
East Central Community College names Rush admissions and records director
Deanna Bankston Rush of Union was recently named director of Admissions and Records at East Central Community College in Decatur. She was a summa cum laude graduate at Mississippi State University, where she also maintained a 4.0 grade point average and received a bachelor of science degree in secondary education-English in May 2000. She received a master of science degree in counselor education from MSU in May 2005. While at MSU, Rush was recognized as a Distinguished President's Scholar.
Prevost named new dean of Alabama's nursing school
The University of Alabama has named Suzanne S. Prevost as the next dean of Capstone College of Nursing. "I am anxious to work with the faculty, staff and the college's board of visitors to grow the programs and facilities in directions that will continue to meet the changing needs of the community and the state," Prevost said in a released statement. Prevost is scheduled to begin work Aug. 16, succeeding Sara Barger, who is stepping down as dean. Prevost, now an associate dean for practice and community engagement and a nursing professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, has held teaching posts and various nursing positions at medical facilities in Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Heads of Alabama's department of education, two-year college system discuss new directions, goals
State educational leaders presented a united front during a forum with representatives from local governments, businesses and schools in south Alabama on Tuesday, June 25, at the Battle House Hotel. Both relatively new to their positions, Tommy Bice, the state superintendent of education, and Mark Heinrich, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, talked about a new direction and partnership between their respective organizations, to shift focus from their students just getting good grades while they're inside the educational system to helping them develop the skills and opportunities to earn and maintain the best jobs possible once they leave.
Toomer's Oak replica coming to Auburn business
Cliff Hare believes Toomer's Corner won't be the same without the iconic oaks. But Hare, the owner of Auburn Art at Toomer's Corner, is having a replica of one of the oaks created and installed in his store. "Back in the beginning of the year when we knew the trees were coming down, I came to the realization that there will be a huge generation of kids coming forward who won't get to experience the trees," Hare said. The store, located next to Toomer's Drugstore on College Street, offers Auburn University-themed photographs, prints, paintings, blown glass, jewelry and pottery.
Arts grants help Auburn University faculty, alumni fund artwork
Fellowship grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts will provide two Auburn University alumnae and a current faculty member with the means to foster current and future art projects. Kyes Stevens, founder and director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, and Brooke Bullman, a writer from Huntsville, each earned a $5,000 fellowship in literature. Chuck Hemard, an associate professor of art at Auburn, received one of two $5,000 fellowships in media/photography.
Lottery milestone to be celebrated today on U. of Georgia campus
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and other state officials are planning to celebrate the Georgia Lottery's 20th anniversary today on the University of Georgia campus, according to the Associated Press. Deal, Georgia Lottery President and CEO Debbie Alford and former U.S. Sen. Zell B. Miller are expected at the event. The Georgia Lottery Corp. said it will recognize the lottery's 20th anniversary and its contributions to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship and prekindergarten programs.
Texas A&M to announce solar energy deal
The Texas A&M System is poised to make a major energy announcement on Thursday. The system announced Tuesday that Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen will partner with The Center for Solar Energy to create a "technology zone" in Central Texas. Officials boast that it will host the largest assortment of photovoltaic technologies anywhere. It will support development from concept to market and commercialization of these technologies at a rapid pace, according to a media briefing sent out by the system.
New 'gateways' planned for downtown Columbia, U. of Missouri
Downtown Columbia is in the process of getting a makeover thanks to the Downtown Community Improvement District and private University of Missouri donors. After reviewing proposals and resumes from eight companies, the improvement district has narrowed its search for a gateway project designer to three companies, Brent Gardner, chair of the Downtown Leadership Council, said at a meeting Tuesday night. The purpose of the gateway project is to remodel and embellish the entrances into downtown to promote visitor satisfaction. MU entrances will also receive improvements after limestone signs are built and installed at two Stadium Boulevard intersections and the intersection of College and University avenues.
Senate said to be near compromise on student loan interest rates
With only a few days remaining to reach a legislative deal before the interest rate on new, federally subsidized student loans doubles July 1, the Senate appears to be inching closer to a bipartisan compromise. But given deep divisions between Senate Democrats and House Republicans in particular on what to do about student loans, there is still no guarantee that Congress will manage to avert the rate hike in time.
Affirmative-Action Ruling Could Complicate Diversity Efforts
The U.S. Supreme Court's modest decision in a high-profile college affirmative-action case is being welcomed by educators from K-12 through higher education as a reaffirmation of racial diversity as a compelling educational interest. But even the staunchest foes of race-conscious educational policies, who admit some disappointment that the court did not go further to limit them, saw a glass half full in language that will make it harder for schools and colleges to justify race preferences in the courts.
Kerry pledges U.S. help for India's massive higher ed needs
On a visit to India, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pushed Tuesday for greater bilateral cooperation on higher education, stating that his host's education system is facing "gigantic challenges." With the world's advanced economies facing a graying workforce, India will head into the next decade with a median age of 29 and two-thirds of its people of working age. That's a huge potential boon for India -- but only if those workers are educated. Currently, only 18 percent of its youth get any higher education. Next month, new Indian rules will go into effect that open the door to U.S. universities opening campuses in India.
Coding camps for kids rise in popularity
The video game Jacob Asofsky is creating is simple: "Someone who is trying to take over the world and you try to stop them." The 12-year-old from Florida is spending two weeks at a summer camp in a program that teaches programming skills to young people. "It's about having fun, but it also gives them the tools to be able to do this at home because they don't have this in school," said Taylor Jones, director of the iD Tech Camp at Atlanta's Emory University. So-called coding camps for children are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and careers in technology.
Universities spend more on professor than coach salaries, study says
There's a new study out comparing the paychecks of head coaches to those of faculty members, but its findings are not the standard condemnation of the fact that athletics staff are making way more -- and faster -- than professors. Controlling for a series of factors that complicate direct comparisons between academic and athletic staff, the study found that universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Football Bowl Subdivision are actually spending more per capita on professors than they are on head coaches – as much as six times more, in some conferences. The study also posits that salaries on both sides can be explained by the "revenue theory of cost," a common financial mentality in higher education, which essentially states that the more money an entity makes -- be it an athletics program or an academic unit -- the more it will spend.
Mississippi newspapers strong
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "The Mississippi Press Association (MPA) met last week at its annual summer convention in Biloxi to discuss the challenges its newspaper members face in the current economy and marketplace; engage in workshops to improve content, design and revenue; and recognize staff in various award categories (photography, editorials, news, features, etc). Owners and publishers displayed improved spirits over recent years. No one expects to return to the time when the advertising department 'just picked up the ads' from businesses. But many shared the sentiment that the worst of the recession is behind the community newspaper industry. Meanwhile, the investment value into newspaper is growing again."
Leadership set to prevent Medicaid expansion vote | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Gov. Phil Bryant's call announcing the special session and its topic should not prevent the Legislature from voting on Medicaid expansion. Let me repeat that -- the proclamation issued by the governor should not prevent a vote on Medicaid expansion. But the Republican leadership -- the governor, Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves -- are so dead-set against expansion, apparently so fearful to allow the full Legislature to vote on the issue -- that they most likely will take other measures in the special session to try to prevent that vote."
Differences between Reeves, Gunn, Bryant may unfold on Medicaid | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "Gov. Phil Bryant made an impressive political move with his special session call, but whether or not it will work is yet to be seen. At one point, the governor was considering dividing the reauthorization and funding of Medicaid into three bills instead of into the typical two. The reason was that he had the votes to get partial reauthorization and funding passed but not the whole thing. Then he would roll the dice and try to run Medicaid by executive order. That was a fool-hardy idea, and it was smart of him not to go that route. Even smarter, however, was making the call for a special session extremely specific where it relates to reauthorization of Medicaid."
Supreme Court decision on Voting Rights Act is likely to stand
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "The U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down the current enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is one that is likely to stand without an answer from Congress for the foreseeable future. In Mississippi, it means changes in election law or election procedures as simple as moving a polling place just got easier and less costly. But it also guarantees that as black minorities in majority-white counties lose the protection of Section 5, so do white minorities in majority-black counties."

End of the road: Mississippi State's historic run comes up short of World Series title
Adam Frazier walked back to the dugout, his bat flailing in his hand behind him. He saw four pitches, swung at three and missed the final one. He returned to the bat rack after his first strikeout of the NCAA Tournament at his own pace after leaving two runners on. Behind him Alex Detz dug into the batter's box. In front of him Hunter Renfroe stood in the on-deck circle. Without emotion he walked down the steps and placed his bat in the rack. He offered no answers and neither did his teammates. They weren't alone. UCLA mowed through lineup after lineup in clinching the program's first College World Series title with an 8-0 win at TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday. It ended the most successful season in Mississippi State baseball history.
Omaha vendors do big business with Bulldogs' fans
Mississippi State fans continued their College World Series assault Tuesday, even after Monday's 3-1 loss to UCLA in the best-of-three series opener. Some of their favorite haunts are the T-shirt and apparel vendor tents surrounding TD Ameritrade Park. "All the Mississippi State fans have been here buying T-shirts," said Al Keller, who manages the Pro Image shop. "We're hoping they'll win (Tuesday) and be here another day ... not that I don't like UCLA." MSU fans blanketed the stadium shopping area on Tuesday morning. There were no UCLA fans to be found. "I've seen more LSU fans than UCLA fans today," Keller said. "I sold one LSU fan a Mississippi State hat. He told me he 'might as well join them.'''
Trey Porter among four Mississippi State players on all-tournament team
Former East Central High School standout Trey Porter was among four Mississippi State players who made the College World Series all-tournament team, released after UCLA beat the Bulldogs 8-0 Tuesday night to capture the national championship. Porter, a senior, made the team as the designated hitter. He batted .333 (3-for-9) with two RBIs in Omaha, including a game-winning two-run single in the Bulldogs' 5-4 victory against Indiana on June 17. Also earning spots on the team for MSU were first baseman Wes Rea, second baseman Brett Pirtle and outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
Mississippi State baseball welcome home celebration set for Thursday
Celebrating the best season by any team in school history, the Mississippi State athletic department invites fans to Dudy Noble Field Thursday, June 27, at 7 p.m., to celebrate the 2013 national finalists Mississippi State Bulldog baseball team. Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is free.
Celebration on Thursday
Celebrating the best season by any team in school history, the Mississippi State athletic department invites fans to Dudy Noble Field on Thursday at 7 p.m., to celebrate the 2013 national finalists Mississippi State Bulldog baseball team. Prior to the celebration, the video board in right field will air messages from current Diamond Dogs in Major League Baseball, as well as highlights from the 2013 season, including the NCAA Starkville Regional, the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional and the NCAA College World Series.
Bulldogs lost but didn't fail | Brad Locke (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Brad Locke writes: "I know Mississippi State was planning a parade if the Bulldogs won the College World Series. Maybe they should anyway. MSU's 2013 baseball season ended Tuesday night with a 8-0 loss to UCLA in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, certainly a bitter disappointment for coaches, players and fans. The Bulldogs were tantalizingly close to the program's first nine title. This one's going to sting for a while, and it should. Because losing stinks. But this can't be argued: MSU's season was an unqualified success. When you step back and consider the larger picture, what coach John Cohen has done with this program is remarkable. Five years in, and he has gotten the Bulldogs back among the nation's elite."
Veteran 'Dog watchers' still believe
Though history had no way to foreshadow it, Mississippi State University radio broadcaster Jim Ellis always felt like the Bulldogs could come to Omaha and win the College World Series. Bus driver Everett Kennard and Athletic Media Relations director Joe Dier were also of the same belief. That trio has teamed up to work a combined 81 seasons following the exploits of the Baseball Bulldogs. Kennard has been the primary bus driver for the baseball team for the past 31 years. Kennard remembered current MSU head coach John Cohen from his playing days from 1987-90 at MSU. Kennard always believed that Cohen would eventually get the Bulldogs to the promised land.
UCLA team feeds off MSU's support
Members of UCLA's baseball team said they fed off the electricity generated by the legions of Mississippi State fans packing TD Ameritrade Park. An estimated 10,000-plus MSU fans were part of the Monday crowd of 25,690 for Game 1 of the best-of-three series for the NCAA College World Series national championship. Bruins coach John Savage certainly loved the super-charged feeling he got from the maroon-clad followers. Monday "was big time. I mean, there was all kinds of Mississippi State people, and it's great to see. They support their program," he said.
Lewis gets fifth year of eligibility from SEC
Mississippi State's Wendell Lewis has been granted a fifth year of eligibility by the SEC. The senior forward was expected to get the extra season after suffering a knee injury in December and applying for a medical hardship. The injury limited him to eight games, in which he averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
'Let's get going:' Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs ready to move forward after 'tough' year
The last year was not Jay Jacobs' toughest at Auburn, but it was certainly one of the most dramatic. At the end of the academic year, the Auburn athletics director is still standing -- and with three big hires by his side -- following one of the stormiest football seasons and most controversial springs in recent memory. "It was tough," Jacobs told during a 30-minute interview Tuesday. "But my toughest year since I've been here was when I walked on (to the football team) in 1981. That was the toughest year and I learned from that. Perseverance and hard work and doing what's right pays off."

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