banner
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 to add a 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.

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL