By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
OMAHA, Neb. – Two former Prentiss County high school quarterbacks – Booneville’s Seth Pounds and Baldwyn’s Gregg Tucker – connected on game-winning passes Monday morning.
Standing in a driving rainstorm and braving 40-50 mph winds outside TD Ameritrade Park, Pounds and Tucker waited with hundreds of other diehard Mississippi State fans for an opportunity to purchase reserve seat tickets for Game 1 of the College World Series finals between the Bulldogs and UCLA.
Lottery tickets for 450 reserved tickets were given to the fans numbering 1 through 500. Lucky lottery winners could buy a maximum of four.
Pounds, an attorney in Booneville, and Tucker, a football coach at Baldwyn High School, had lottery tickets 148 and 149. A random number was then selected by the TD Ameritrade Park ticket office to begin the process.
“I’ve got 149,” Tucker said. “If they pick 150, I go all the way to the back of the line.”
Moments later, with wind and rain soaking the loyal maroon and white legions lined up around the massive downtown stadium, a ticket office official came by shouting, “Who’s 148? 148 is No. 1!”
Pounds was stunned. “I heard the guy asking for 148. He said, ‘It’s not official, but I believe you’re it.’’’
Tucker, now No. 2, was all smiles after learning his good fortune. “I wish (football) play-calling was this easy,” he said, then laughed.
Pounds and Tucker, like many MSU fans, made the long journey Sunday – 12 hours for Northeast Mississippians – to the corn belt for baseball.
“It’s all maroon and white here,” Tucker said later, standing in the bowels of the stadium and attempting to dry off along side hundreds of other damp Bulldogs.
Added his brother-in-law, Baldwyn’s David Jenkins, “Look at all these State fans; it’s like being in Starkville.”
MSU’s sports information director for baseball, Joe Dier, wasn’t surprised so many passionate Bulldogs make the trip to Nebraska.
“They just want to be close to it – a possible national championship – even if they can’t get in,” he said.
No worries for Pounds and Tucker … they made it in.