RALEIGH — Though the N.C. State baseball team didnt 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. States 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 years 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 nights 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 didnt 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 theyve done the whole season.
The Wolfpack will return most of its core players from this years team that finished 50-16, including Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner.
Charlie Mason, a season-ticket holder for 10 years, said hes proud of this years 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 Ive seen, Mason said. Theres just something magical about at how this team got together and played as a team.
I dont think people knew how talented of a team this is.