RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Every little kid who grew up playing baseball had the same dream.

“If you want to play in college baseball you want to go to Omaha, that’s it,” said former N.C. State catcher
Brad Debo.

Debo should know — he had an outstanding career at N.C. State and he, too, had that dream growing up.

Unfortunately, injuries prevented the former freshman All-American from playing this season.

But Debo has stayed close with this team and he’s heartbroken to see his friends’ season come to an end in Omaha because of COVID-19 protocols.

“Everybody had given up on them, the fans, everybody,” said Debo shaking his head. “They said ‘whatever it’s just going to be one of those years and they’re not going to be good at all’ and now they’re
in Omaha with a really, really, really good chance to win and they get stripped. That doesn’t settle well with anybody.”

Like many, Debo is confused about how this could have happened. Why the school he grew up rooting and playing for is in the position they are.

He’s talked with a handful of his former teammates since their season was suddenly cut short early Saturday and he can feel their hurt.

“Obviously, they should be mad and sad and full of emotion,” explained Debo. “Some of those guys they really didn’t know that that was their last game the other day and it just kind of got taken out of their hands.”

And now that dream that every one of them had playing whiffle ball in the backyard as kids, is gone.

“They should be playing for a national championship within the next few days,” said Debo.

Instead, the players are on their way back to Raleigh, on a bus with Omaha in the rearview mirror, far from the bright lights of Monday night’s championship series.