Natchez fans on hand as LSU claims viral Rocco’s CWS Jello Shot Challenge title
Published 10:02 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023
A group of Natchez fans can proudly claim they were there when the College World Series record fell.
The Rocco’s CWS Jello Shot Challenge record, of course.
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Andrew Beesley, Gabe Smith, Jacob Jenkins, Dylan White, Reed White and Wright Graning are in Omaha, Nebraska, this week cheering on the LSU Tigers in the 2023 College World Series. And like thousands of other LSU fans, they decided to lend their support to the Tigers by joining in the famed challenge.
Started by Rocco’s, a local bar in Omaha, the challenge allows fans from each team to purchase the jellied liquor shots in support of their team. With the proceeds of the contest, the bar donates funds to food banks in Omaha and at the winning schools.
In 2022, the contest went viral on social media as SEC fans showed affinity for their teams – and their Jell0 shots – throughout the week. In the end, fans from Ole Miss set a new record with 18,777 shots purchased. Bragging rights were secured and the bar hung a plaque in honor of Ole Miss.
But LSU fans were undaunted as they headed to Omaha this year. “I low-key thought it would happen just because of the old rivalry,” said Smith. “LSU just couldn’t let Ole Miss beat them in something.”
Spurred on through social media and the longstanding rivalry between LSU and Ole Miss, thousands of fans entered Omaha with the mission of claiming two titles.
Graning, who was making his second trip to Omaha, said the group of longtime friends was there for the baseball and for the competition. “We wanted to beat the Ole Miss fans.”
Before LSU took the field for their second game at 6 p.m. Monday, they had claimed the first one.
“It was pretty wild,” Beesley said. “The place was packed and was pretty much all LSU people all weekend … it was shoulder to shoulder.”
On Monday afternoon, Raising Cane’s owner Todd Graves (jokingly referred to as “head fry cook” in Rocco’s Twitter post) stepped up to the bar for his team, buying 6,000 shots and leaving no doubt of LSU’s dominance in the contest.
“It was crazy to see somebody buy 6,000 shots,” Beesley said, adding that he and his friends were front and center as the new tally was added to the record board: 21,435 shots. As chants of “LSU” and “Go to hell Ole Miss” rang out, the Natchez group joined in the official photo documenting the record-setting experience.
Unfortunately, the team did not fare as well on the field, as the Tigers fell 3-2 to Wake Forest on Monday night. And while the group was disappointed by the loss on the field, they appreciated the opportunity to watch the two best teams in college baseball play.
For Beesley, a former D-1 baseball player and now a high school coach making his first trip to Omaha for the CWS, the experience was unforgettable. “You just couldn’t ask for a better experience. To be there for that and to watch LSU play … you couldn’t write it up any better for a first trip to Omaha.”