After defeating Stetson once and Florida State twice at the Tallahassee Regional, the Bulldogs were hoping to host a Super Regional. And when they found out that Mississippi State was selected as the host school, the players were ecstatic.
"I knew it would be a great atmosphere, so I was hoping we would be able to host," said the 6-0, 230-pounder. "We knew it was going to be big and were looking forward to it. I was expecting about 12,000 because I knew it was going to be a huge crowd. I thought we might even break the (on-campus crowd) record."
But they did have a few anxious moments about how big the crowds would be when the times for the games were announced - 11 am Friday and Saturday and Noon Sunday. But that was quickly forgotten as tickets sales grew.
"(The times worried us) a little bit until the day before when the coaches told us ticket sales were at 9,000, then an hour later they said they were at 10,000," commented Mitch. "We were sitting there telling each other this place is going to be great tomorrow. And it was. It was a really fun atmosphere."
What was he thinking when he saw how big the crowd was Friday prior to the game?
"When you went out, you kind of had to sit back and take a deep breathe," noted Mitch. "I tried not to let it get to me too much and tried to focus on the game. But it was a good feeling knowing the fans were right there and were going to be behind you the whole time."
Saturday's crowd was even bigger, but when the final out was recorded and the MSU players knew they had won the game, Mitch was so into the game he forgot about the crowd for a minute or two.
"I couldn't hear the crowd (after the last strike to end the game)," said Mitch. "I wouldn't have thought there was anybody there but me and (MSU catcher) Ed (Easley) and the team. I don't know why I couldn't hear the crowd because they said it just erupted. I guess I was so zoned into it. A couple of my teammates said the same thing. They were just ready to get it done on the last pitch. And we did."
What went through his mind the second after the last out was recorded?
"I thought, we are going to Omaha," said Mitch with a smile. "That was one of our team goals from Day 1 when we had our meeting. Now, we are going to do it."
After the game was over and the players celebrated among themselves, they decided to share the experience with the fans by running around the fence shaking the hands of the fans. That was a very special moment for the players.
"I don't really know how to describe it," said Mitch. "It was just a great feeling. We were wanting it, but so were all of our fans. They were so excited about it and that just makes you feel that much better about it."
Even after the regional was over, the MSU players didn't want to let the experience go, mainly due to the fans.
"We talked about the crowd after it was over," confirmed Mitch. "They were cheering whenever we got a strike. It seemed like 10,000 people would cheer when we got a strike. It was unbelievable. I have never played in anything like that in my life. And everybody else agreed. That was the best experience since we have been here."
Any last thoughts?
"I guess all we can say is thank you to the fans for an unbelievable weekend," said Mitch.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.