RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — N.C. State senior outfielder Devonte Brown sat at the podium fielding questions following Sunday’s ACC Championship game loss to North Carolina. Losing to your arch-rival is never easy.
“Today’s (Sunday’s) loss definitely hurt,” said Brown. “I think now it’s just a matter of forgetting and moving on and being ready for next week and trying to play baseball and see how far we can go.”
Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, they’ve already gone as far as they can go. N.C. State was left out of the NCAA Baseball tournament field of 64 teams.
The selection committee revealed the Pack was the first team out, the 65th team in a 64-team field.
News of N.C. State’s snub sent shockwaves throughout the Triangle.
“It was definitely shocking when we found out,” said North Carolina senior outfielder Angel Zarate after he and his teammates watched the NCAA Baseball Selection show. “We were watching it and thought it was over but we went wait, we haven’t heard N.C. State yet.”
That’s because the Pack’s name was never called.
The N.C. State baseball media accounted put it bluntly with just one word — “criminal” — after the Pack was left out of the field.
This is certainly not how this team thought their season would end.
“We’re playing really, really good and we’re playing smarter,” said N.C. State head coach Elliott Avent following Sunday’s loss. “We’ll take this week to regroup and maybe try to get better at some little thing because that’s what it’s going to come down to in a Regional.”
Except for the Pack there will be no more baseball. No more chances for fans to watch Tommy White, quite possibly college baseball’s most prodigious power hitter. No more chances for the Pack to write a different story from last year’s heartbreak in Omaha.
“I think the biggest thing is not letting this game (Sunday’s) affect us,” said Brown on Sunday. “You can dwell on it but come Monday you’ve got to forget everything and be ready to keep playing baseball. It’s not over until it’s over.”
Shockingly for the Pack, it’s over.