FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – When the Mississippi State baseball team started their 2021 postseason campaign, outfielder Kyte McDonald was on his way to Fond du Lac to start his summer baseball season with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders in the Northwoods League.
Instead of being with his college teammates throughout the postseason, McDonald chose to start his summer ball season early to gear up for 2022. The deeper the Bulldogs made it through the NCAA Baseball tournament, McDonald couldn’t help but tune in no matter where he was.
“I didn’t tell any of the coaches but I was watching the game on the bench in between innings”, says McDonald.
When Mississippi State punched their ticket into the College World Series, McDonald knew he had to leave his summer ball team in Fond du Lac and go be with his Bulldog teammates.
The Bulldogs had never won a National Championship in any sport, ever. It was 126 years without any title in the trophy case. McDonald acknowledged the history of could happened in Omaha, Nebraska.
“My coach called me and he’s like ‘Do you want to come?’ and I said ‘Oh yes’. There’s no question about it. I’m going to come. I couldn’t have missed that for anything”, McDonald explains.
McDonald left the Dock Spiders and went to the College World Series where his teammates were facing a tough Vanderbilt team.
It took Mississippi State until the final game of the best-of-three championship series versus Vanderbilt, but the Bulldogs won the first National Championship in school history as they were crowned the 2021 College World Series winners.
“It’s surreal, really. It’s hard to explain. You know you’re out there, you’re looking around, everybody’s cheering, and the lights. It’s just really incredible. You’re there with your boys. We did it. That’s all I can say”, says McDonald.
McDonald told Local 5 that he’s a Chicago Cubs fan so when they broke their 108 year World Series curse in 2016, it was an emotional moment for him as a fan. Now? McDonald’s apart of the same kind of history on the other side as a player being one of the athletes apart of the first ever National Championship athletic team at Mississippi State.
After the College World Series celebration with his teammates in Omaha, it was time for him to make the seven hour drive back to Fond du Lac to re-join the Dock Spiders this summer.
“It’s really nice to see all of the guys again. They were really supportive and pulling for me”, says McDonald.
With a chance to get more playing time next season at Mississippi State, McDonald knows how crucial this summer is for him in the Northwoods League and he’s excited to grow his game.
“The Northwoods League is where I wanted to go because we play a whole lot of games. I’m just here to get reps, play my best, work on some little things in my game, hopefully be better come August, and for next season”, McDonald tells Local 5.
It was a whirlwind for McDonald but it’s one he’ll never forget and he tells Local 5 it hasn’t truly hit him yet that he’s a National Champion. A National Champion now playing baseball in Northeast Wisconsin this summer with the Dock Spiders.