Jeff Gravley

History is made here in Omaha

Posted June 14, 2013

Greetings from Omaha and the College World Series. I haven't been here since 2007 when the games were played at the famed Rosenblatt Stadium. It is now at TD Ameritrade Park and I was anxious to get my first look in person. As I walked through the tunnel to the dugout, my heart raced with anticipation. When I stepped into the dugout the ballpark revealed in front of me and it was breathtaking.

I can only imagine the feeling of what it would be like as a player experiencing this for the first time.

NC State outfielder Brett Williams told me he wished he could freeze this moment in time. His one word, WOW, said enough as he visually panned across the field. Even for the 9 North Carolina players who played here in 2011, this is a new experience. As the Heels wrapped up their practice, the saw in the other dugout the familiar red of NC State waiting to take their turn for practice. The players are pumped to play their rivals here on college baseballs biggest stage. Kent Emanuel said it would have stunk if both teams made it here and didn't get to play each other.

The coaches may have a different opinion.

Mike Fox and Elliott Avent would prefer playing each other after the opening round. One team will have to recover quickly after losing to their rivals because another loss gets them a ticket back home. Fox and Avent were positioned side by side at the press conference this morning prompting Fox to jokingly ask if the 2 coaches could be any closer together. They handled an uncomfortable situation like pros though. Sunday the jokes end.

These two have played some incredible games over the years, including two in the last pair of ACC tournaments. That 18 inning classic at the DBAP this year is one people are still talking about, a 2-1 Tar Heel win.

Fans of these teams will talk about this game in Omaha for years to come. Rarely does it happen when two triangle rivals meet in their sport's final destination. In 1991, the Duke and North Carolina basketball teams were in the Final 4 together but didn't face each other. The next year in women's soccer the Devils and Heels played for the national championship, won by UNC. In 1988 North Carolina beat NC State for the women's soccer crown and they both reached the Final 4 the next year but didn't play.

Sunday's game at the College World Series is not for a national title but it will move one team closer to their goal. It's a game that is good for the Triangle, the ACC and for college baseball.

One of the promotional slogans at the College World Series is, history is made here. It certainly is the case for a Tobacco Road Rivalry separated by 28 geographical miles. 

6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jacamoe Jun 15, 2013

    My pop is a S.C. gamenchicken???????? And was at the 1st n.c. win. It IS truly breathtaking. You can't get that vibe down at the pub. Go WOLFPACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS GREAT FOR OUR STATE AND THE ACC!!!!!!!! Just wish I could be at this year's .

  • NEVER apologize for being white Jun 15, 2013

    I thought Gravely's description of a baseball park being BREATHTAKING was a bit much. Breathtaking? Really? You should get out more Jeff.

    Anyhoo, Go Heels!

  • JPack Jun 15, 2013

    Of course I'm hoping State will go through the winners bracket, but none the less, best of luck to both teams. You both deserve it. The triangle is proud of you!

  • TsKaMF Jun 15, 2013

    I sure hope the WOLFPACK wins.

  • unc70 Jun 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    The earliest either State or Carolina could be sent home would be after the Tuesday game in the losers bracket. We would prefer that not happen to either team. Be nice if each made it to a rematch on Friday, but that is asking a lot.

    It will also be asking a lot of the weather in Omaha. They usually have a lot of thunderstorms during the CWS. We are used to that, but it can really put a strain on pitchers if you get long weather delays.

  • StunGunn Jun 14, 2013

    Making it to the CWS is probably the most thrilling experience for a college player. I just wish that State and Carolina didn't have to play each other in the first round. I hate that one team will be sent home after Sunday or Monday. I'm happy for both teams - they've worked very hard and have played very well to get to Omaha.

  • Golf: Senior Open Championship

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR Xfinity Series #1: Iowa

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • San Francisco Giants at LA Dodgers

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • San Francisco Giants at LA Dodgers

    Sunday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Panthertalk with Ron Rivera

    Monday, Jul. 31 at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Chi White Sox0Top
1st
Chi Cubs0
Houston 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
Cincinnati 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland 
Miami 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
Minnesota 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
American League
Oakland 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
Kansas City 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit 
Baltimore 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay 
Boston 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
Seattle 
National League
Colorado 5:08 PT6:08 MT7:08 CT8:08 ET20:08 ET0:08 GMT8:08 5:08 MST7:08 EST7:38 VEN4:08 UAE (+1)7:08 CT
Preview
St. Louis 
Atlanta 6:40 PT7:40 MT8:40 CT9:40 ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 MST8:40 EST9:10 VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 CT
Preview
Arizona 
NY Mets 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
San Diego 
Pittsburgh 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Louisville 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Syracuse 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Toledo 
Gwinnett 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Lehigh Valley 
Rochester 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Indianapolis 
Columbus 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Charlotte 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Norfolk 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Buffalo 
ATP Scoreboard
Monday, Jul. 24
Suisse Open Gstaad (ATP)
First Round
Y. Hanfmann6 63 6   
F. Bagnis3 77 4   
N. Gombos710 6    
T. Daniel68 2    
L. Giustino3 2    
D. Istomin6 6    
A. Bellier3 68    
G. Sakharov6 710    
(6) R. Haase 
R. Olivo 
M. Youzhny 
R. Albot 
 
Atlanta Open (ATP)
 
German Open (ATP)
First Round
H. Zeballos77 6    
D. Altmaier62 4    
C. Stebe6 6    
D. Dzumhur3 4    
(6) D. Schwartzma6 6    
A. Haider-Mau2 3    
M. Cecchinato5 2    
F. Mayer7 6    
(4) G. Simon6 4 6   
M. Marterer2 6 4   
(5) B. Paire6 6    
D. Tursunov3 2    
J. Struff6 6    
E. Donskoy3 4    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, Jul. 24
Ericsson Open (WTA)
First Round
(2) A. Sevastova6 6    
A. Blinkova3 1    
T. Korpatsch611 1    
S. Errani713 5    
(7) K. Siniakova3     
R. Peterson2     
 
Jiangxi Open (WTA)
First Round
(4) Q. Wang6 6    
H. Dart4 1    
X. Gao3 64    
S. Hsieh6 77    
X. Han6 78    
P. Plipuech1 66    
F. Liu6 1 6   
X. You3 6 4   
(7) S. Zheng6 2 0   
E. Hozumi2 6 6   
(2) S. Peng7 4 6   
K. Nara5 6 3   
W. Zheng6 5 2   
F. Xun3 7 6   
N. Hibino6 3 6   
K. Zhang2 6 3