RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s an image N.C. State baseball fans will never forget.
TV cameras capture the moment Wolfpack head baseball coach Elliott Avent is told his team’s College World Series run is over – without a single pitch being thrown.
The Wolfpack was one win away from heading off to the College World Series finals a year ago when State was bounced from the event due to COVID-19 protocols.
Now, eight months later, the sting of that decision is still there as the Pack gets set for the 2022 campaign.
“I never put anything behind me,” Avent admitted. “That’s a long way from being behind me, trust me. One year really doesn’t factor into the other.”
Just a handful of players who played in Omaha remain on the roster, so using what happened at the College World Series as motivation for this year is not a part of the plan.
“Never talk about it, it’s never discussed,” Avent demanded. “It’s not discussed by players, it’s not discussed by me. Each season is a different season, each team is a different team. We never discuss it but do I think about it? Constantly.”
“It will never get too far away from me and I’ll never forget it but, it’s never discussed one day as we get ready for the season.”
The players feel the same way. As much as it hurt having their season end the way it did, there’s no reason to look back. For the Pack it’s full speed ahead.
“Everybody wants to go back to Omaha the next season,” admitted senior outfielder Devonte Brown. “We are kind of leaving that in the past, we’ve got a new team, new guys.”
“We’ve got to create our own journey and create our own path for ourselves. We’ll be taking it one game at a time trying to get back to Omaha.”
That journey begins Friday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. when Evansville comes to Raleigh for a three-game series.