Zac is a graduate of West Jones High School (2011) and the University of Southern Mississippi (2015). This is his fourth year covering sports at The Impact.

I was disappointed by the end of last week’s Southern Miss-Mississippi State baseball series in Starkville for a variety of a reasons.

Sure, the Golden Eagles experienced the highest of highs by handing Mississippi State their first loss in the new Dudy Noble Field on Friday, but on Saturday and Sunday came the lowest of lows as the Bulldogs won two in a row to take the series.

No shame in losing to a top 15 team in the nation. The fanbases going back and forth with one another on social media was pretty shameful, though. It went both ways.

When the Golden Eagles took game one, many of their fans celebrated as if they had just won the College World Series. As a Southern Miss alum, I’ll admit it was a satisfying win, but act like you’ve been there before because you actually have. Remember, the Golden Eagles swept Mississippi State to open last season with a bang. And most importantly, realize there are two games left to be played and that premature celebration could make for a long weekend.

That was the case as the Bulldogs bounced back on Saturday and Sunday in taking out some frustrations and proving to be the better team at the moment. Unsurprisingly, their fans crawled out of the woodwork to drill the latter into the heads of Southern Miss fans.

Put it all together, and you get one toxic scene. Rock bottom came when one particular fan made an absolutely disgusting remark about someone’s four-month-old daughter. Thankfully, Twitter took notice and suspended the account, but I’m still in disbelief that someone would stoop that low.

We’re better than this.

Firstly, it’s never ok to say such a thing. Secondly, we’re talking about a game. A GAME. I love baseball, but it’s not life and never will be. And thirdly, there should be more respect between the two schools. Is it inconceivable to think they should treat one another as neighbors and not bitter rivals? Is that too much to ask?

I’m not ashamed to admit that when the Bulldogs made it to Omaha last season, I was rooting for them to win it all. The same goes for their women’s basketball team in the Final Four. And I’d venture to say many Mississippi State fans like seeing Southern Miss succeed against teams besides their own.

There should be more mutual admiration and respect between the in-state schools. Maybe that’s unrealistic for Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Either way, we may wear different colors and support different teams, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re all Mississippians. In that regard, nothing can or should divide us.

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