OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — There's never a dull moment in the Mississippi State dugout thanks to a group of players who call themselves the "Bench Mobb."
Before Friday's game against Oregon State, a half-dozen Mobb members picked up Ross Mitchell, did a chant on the dugout steps and gave him the heave-ho onto the field. It's the same way the Mobb starts every game.
"Those guys are crazy," first baseman Wes Rea said. "They play a huge role on this team, as funny as it may be. They keep everybody locked in and keep the intensity up, and it's a major factor in a game situation."
The Mobb got its due after pinch-hitter Trey Porter drove in the winning run in the eighth inning of a 5-4 win over Indiana on Monday. Asked how he kept his edge when he had played so little the past month, Porter said, "I'll give 100 percent of the credit to the Bench Mobb."
Pitchers Ross Mitchell, Evan Mitchell (no relation) and Jacob Lindgren are the founding members, with players coming and going as they please.
The Mobb goes through a series of rituals, starting in the first inning when the boys hoot and holler and, as Evan Mitchell said, "try to make the other pitcher feel bad about himself."
Another Mobb member, Trevor Fitts, leads a sect of players who unbutton their jerseys and bare their chests — "Team No Undershirt" they call themselves — when the Bulldogs need a little jolt of mojo.
Mobbsters take turns freestyle rapping in the third inning or whenever the Bulldogs are at bat and need a hit.
The Mobb made a 4 1/2-minute rap video that has attracted almost 17,000 YouTube views since being posted last week.
Ross Mitchell is 13-0 as a reliever. No doubt, Bench Mobb karma has helped him.
He says he doesn't worry about his statistics. He said he would rather be a great teammate than a great player.
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