Ole Miss and Mississippi State would just be coming off their weekend SEC baseball series in Starkville, if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t ended the season in mid-March.
But fans of the Rebels and Bulldogs have kept busy setting up a different kind of showdown.
The Twitter account for the College Baseball Nation web site (@CollegeBallNat) recently launched a Nation’s Best Stadium Tournament.
And on Wednesday afternoon, two days of voting began in the finals, with Swayze Field at Ole Miss squaring off against Mississippi State’s Dudy Noble Field.
The poll received more than 10,000 votes in the first hour after launching just after 1 p.m. By 4 p.m., there nearly 20,000 votes – and Dudy Noble was holding a slight lead.
Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State routinely rank among the nation’s leaders in baseball attendance and both stadiums have a national reputation as being among the best in the sport.
And fans of both teams were enjoying a fine on-the-field product again this season. Ole Miss was 16-1 and MSU was 12-4. Between them, they were a combined 20-3 at home.
In the College Baseball Nation semifinals, Swayze Field edged Arkansas’ Baum-Walker Stadium with 20,703 votes to 18,890, while Dudy Noble topped East Carolina’s Clark-LeClair Stadium 11,180 to 7,674.
East Carolina fans scored the biggest upset in the voting in the first round, knocking off LSU’s Alex Box Stadium 3,775 to 1,776.
LSU has led the nation in total on-campus attendance in every season since 1996.
Last year, 425,377 fans attended 40 games at Alex Box, while Mississippi State was second with 357,389 fans, also in 40 games.
Ole Miss totaled 277,944 fans in 31 games to rank fourth in total attendance and third – just ahead MSU – in average home attendance.