Story by: Patrick M. Daniel
Carolina fans arrived by the thousand today at Colonial Life Arena to help celebrate their National Champion Gamecock baseball team.
The festivities were scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm EDT, but the parking lots surrounding the arena filled up much earlier in the afternoon. The first 5,000 fans to enter the event received commemorative prints depicting the championship photos, and players were also signing autographs.
Athletic Director Eric Hyman addresses the crowd
The already raucous crowd grew to even more of a frenzy upon the arrival of the team, and was overflowing into the parking lot. The celebrating first began late last night after the winning run crossed the plate, and does not appear to be coming to a halt in the foreseeable future. Five Points became Ground Zero for celebration last night, and easily provided the wildest Tuesday night in recent memory.
USC coach Ray Tanner and players address the crowd
Carolina fans have had to endure over a century of futility in major college sports until last night’s 11th inning 2-1 victory over UCLA, and this will surely go down in history books as a truly epic night for Gamecock athletics. Men and women of all ages can finally realize their dream of witnessing a major Gamecock national title, and in doing so, banishing the so-called “Chicken Curse.”
Now that Steve Spurrier has witnessed the reality that Carolina can win a National Championship, will the ever-competitive “Head Ball Coach” be next?
Whit Merrifield talks to reporters