Friday, Austin Murr and Coach Avent met with media to talk about the road to Omaha and their chances in the College World Series. Below some highlighted quotes.
It wasn’t hard to see the excitement and eagerness to play from Murr. With a grin that couldn’t go any further, “It’s been a remarkable week and surreal moment after everything that happened in Arkansas. No matter who I talk to on the team, everyone can’t believe we’re here. Just amazing to experience this unique opportunity.
The topic of conversation quickly turned to the Arkansas upset. After Game 1, most teams would have folded, State stayed strong. “We have unbelievable coaches with an experienced team. We’ve been through ups and downs and just put our head down and kept working. We had a rough stretch at the beginning of the year, but now we feel battle tested.”
After the year that Avent had with his father’s passing and the love that this team has for him, Murr talked about how special it is to win for him. With more emotion than any answer of the day, “That was our goal was to get to Omaha for him. Would have loved to have gotten him his first ACC Championship, but this became more important and we want to win it.”
Right off the top, Avent made it clear the importance of this moment, “There’s no words to put into perspective what this means for the current players, former players…players that have made it before, those that unfortunately didn’t.”
Avent is a big proponent of soaking it all up in the moment, “We’ve done everything we could from ice cream to steaks. When it comes time to playing the game, we’ll play the game. Until then, enjoy it.” Further emphasis on the magic of Omaha, “The Masters will always be in Augusta, Omaha will always be home to College World Series.”
His pride for this team was evident in talking about how this group believes in the team concept. “Have to respect the game and compete. We have unbelievable leadership that has shown the young, inexperienced guys what it’s like to play at the college level.” With their resiliency, “You don’t do what this team has done over the last three months without players going out and getting it done. Think about where you’ve been and where you want to go, but focus on the now.”
There was also conversations about the exposure Omaha brings to the program, “It’s huge with a great recruiting class next year and now us working two years in advance. When you talk to a young player in high school and ask them if they want to play in Omaha, it definitely gets them excited.”
Do you find it magical that with the passing of your father, that this is where you’re at? “My dad meant the world to me. He only lived to watch us play and the Yankees.” Avent emotional, “I contribute a lot of my fight to him.”
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 17, 2021