June 11, 2012
Being a Demon Deacon at heart, I don't often pull for N.C. State. But when I do, it's well deserved (and I am an ACC fan, after all). That's how I feel about this year's NCSU baseball team, which was eliminated from the chance to go to the College World Series yesterday by top seeded Florida. Florida needed 10 innings to win the second game of the 3-game series and KO the Pack. And UF needed a controversial third-strike call with a man in scoring position to put the game to rest (it was clearly high and outside). But the character of this team is what I liked, they represent the best of what college sports is about. They were scrappers, they picked each other up when behind, and they played like a team. They were supposed to be good, and they were, but they were also a likable group to watch. They didn't take anything for granted and didn't give in, as evidenced by how many times they climbed back in games after falling behind. Their game against UNC in the ACC tournament was perhaps the best college baseball game I've ever seen, and I've watched hundreds of them. Wolfpack fans, you should be proud. These guys represented your school well (except for a little dustup at the end against Florida, after the bad call. I hope doesn't undermine all the good things they did). There are plenty of reasons to think NCSU baseball is on the rise.