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Is It Destiny?

Updated: Jun 14

Here we go Wolfpack Nation, this is it: what we have been waiting for since June 26, 2021 at 2:10 a.m.; a chance for redemption; to take back what was stolen from us; an opportunity to win the College World Series.

We all know the story. It was a ridiculous rule that did not make any sense at the time and had a ton of gray area. Looking back at it, it was totally unnecessary. I don't need to go into details of what happened. If you have been paying attention to college baseball, you know what happened to the 2021 NC State baseball team and the travesty of the disqualification by the lovely folks at the NCAA.

"The hardest thing I've ever done," said NC State head coach Elliott Avent, "is having to sit 27 players who gave their heart and soul and blood and sweat to achieve a goal of a lifetime and tell them we're going home. I remember being in that room at 1:30 in the morning telling the players we were going home. I didn't see a dry eye or smile the entire bus ride to the airport, the entire flight home."

It seemed that the 2021 NC State baseball team was on the track for destiny. Winning the Ruston Regional in three games, taking two of three in the Fayetteville Super Regional against #1 Arkansas, and starting off 2-0 in Omaha after beating Stanford and Vanderbilt. Even after losing to Vanderbilt in the infamous Pack13 game (State only had 13 players available), it seemed because of how close that game was, NC State still had a shot to advance to the final series.

"Obviously it means a lot to be a part of something that was that special and etched in Wolfpack history," said starting pitcher Sam Highfill, who infamously had to play at first base in that Pack13 game. "But every time I think about that 13, I think about the 14 guys that couldn't be out there that day..."

For the last three years, this team, program, and fanbase has been waiting for that shot to win it all in Omaha. Well, now they've got it. This 2024 team is built by a solid starting veteran rotation (one of which being Sam Highfill who was the freshman star of 2021), a young dangerous bullpen, and an impressive combination of transfers, freshmen, and veterans up and down the lineup. It's a beautiful mixture of experience and young talent.

It seems like it is destiny for this 2024 NC State squad. Head Coach Elliott Avent has stated that he doesn't believe in revenge, but man, it would be poetic justice if this team could win it all. A script Hollywood couldn't even write. But this team is not focused on the past. Even with seven players from the 2021 team on this year's team. Yes, it's hanging in the back of their minds, but this is now. They've got their shot, take it.

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