Fans gather to welcome Wolfpack baseball team back to campus

wrupard@newsobserver.comJune 21, 2013 


A small but enthusiastic group of Wolfpack fans greeted the N.C. State baseball team as they arrived at Doak Field on Friday June 21, 2013. They were returning after their loss to UNC in the College World Series at Omaha, Nebraska.


— Though the N.C. State baseball team didn’t get the finish it had hoped for, dozens of Wolfpack supporters gathered on Friday at Doak Field to welcome the group back to campus and celebrate its season.

A day after being eliminated from the College World Series, N.C. State’s team bus was greeted with loud applause. Players took time to sign autographs, take pictures with fans and talk baseball.

One of the fans was Amelia Borger, 14, whose red N.C. State shirt was covered with autographs from the team.

“I was so happy for them,” Borger said. “I watched them the whole season. They had their ups and downs but they really deserved the College World Series.”

This year’s team was the first from N.C. State to advance to the College World Series since 1968, and only the second one to reach Omaha in school history.

N.C. State opened the College World Series by beating rival North Carolina 8-1 on Sunday. The Wolfpack then lost to UCLA and dropped Thursday night’s game against the Tar Heels 7-0.

Chris Hathcock, who traveled to Omaha to see the Wolfpack play North Carolina on Sunday, has followed the team throughout the season. He said he came to Doak Field to show support after one of the most successful campaigns in school history.

“Even though the season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, it still ended where we wanted it to,” Hathcock said.

“Being able to get back to Omaha is a big step, so I just wanted to support them for what they’ve done the whole season.”

The Wolfpack will return most of its core players from this year’s team that finished 50-16, including Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner.

Charlie Mason, a season-ticket holder for 10 years, said he’s proud of this year’s team. He thinks appearing in a College World Series will bring a lot of exposure to the school.

“I think this is the best N.C. State team that I’ve seen,” Mason said. “There’s just something magical about at how this team got together and played as a team.

“I don’t think people knew how talented of a team this is.”

Rupard: 919-829-8954

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