CHAPEL HILL — Family, friends and supporters of the North Carolina baseball team braved the rain on Saturday to welcome the Tar Heels back to campus on Saturday.
The team arrived back in Chapel Hill one day after being knocked out of the College World Series by UCLA. North Carolina won two games and lost two games in Omaha, Neb.
Despite the rain and the team’s arrival time being pushed back, about 100 people came to Boshamer Stadium to welcome the team home. Players and coaches took pictures and signed autographs for supporters. The players, all dressed in Carolina blue polo shirts, exited the team bus with smiles on their faces as fans cheered to show support for their team.
“I wanted to come out and show my support for these guys,” North Carolina fan Bill Kingston said. “They’ve worked so hard and we appreciate what they’ve done for this university and this community.”
Pete Lewis brought his son, Alex, to the event who had a baseball signed by head coach Mike Fox and outfielder Skye Bolt.
“I can tell it means a lot to these players,” Lewis said. “This is a great sendoff for players like Colin (Moran) and (Cody) Stubbs and all the seniors. Even though it’s raining, we wanted to be here to send them out the right way.”
This was North Carolina’s tenth trip to the College World Series, and sixth in eight seasons. The team lost its opening game to rival N.C. State, won its next two against LSU and N.C. State, before being knocked out by UCLA on Friday night.
North Carolina, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, was the last remaining ACC team in the tournament, and set a school record for wins in a season with 59.
“The levels this program has risen is extraordinary,” Kingston said. “This team never gave up all season. They had their backs against the wall so many times and fought back. I’m so happy to see so much Carolina blue out here to congratulate these men on a job well done.”