HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss sophomore outfielder/pitcher Mason Robbins was almost directly in the path of a tornado when it tore through the busiest section of Hattiesburg on Sunday.
Robbins left his apartment on 4th Street with two other friends late Sunday afternoon to go to the Corner Market grocery store on Hardy Street. Not long after Robbins arrived, store employees realized the impending danger of the twister.
"There was a guy that worked there going to the back (of the store)," Robbins said. "The power was off. He directed us to go to the meat locker and we stayed in there 10 minutes."
Robbins said that the tornado passed behind the store just 20 yards away.
"They say it sounds like a train, and it sounded like there were some trains rolling by," Robbins said. "We've been looking at videos every day since then. It's pretty crazy."
The tornado did major damage along Hardy Street and struck the southern portion of the USM campus, injuring dozens of people along the way.
However, USM's Pete Taylor Park went unscathed. A tarp that was placed on the baseball diamond was still in place once the tornado passed through.
USM opens its baseball season at 4 p.m. Friday with a three-game home series against Missouri.