Dreams do come true—and not only in Disney movies. Just ask the Washington Huskies.
The team made it to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first time in the school’s history and will face Mississippi State Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on the first day of the tournament.
“It’s what we dreamed of as kids,” said Huskies pitcher Joe DeMers on Friday. “To finally be here shows that our hard work has paid off.”
Teammate Willie MacIver agrees. “It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I can’t be more grateful for the situation we are in right now.”
Coach Lindsay Meggs called the Huskies “the new kids in town” during a press conference. Meggs also said that many people doubted that Washington would make it to Omaha.
“I don’t think too many people sitting in the audience today picked us to be here from the beginning of the season to even through the postseason,” he said.
Maybe there were doubts. After all, at one point Washington was 18–18. But the Huskies turned their season around and won 12 of their final 17 games. The plan for the CWS, Meggs said, is to take it “one pitch at a time and one inning at a time.”
Alan Ward came from California to see his son, outfielder Braiden Ward, play. Dad has been keeping a close eye on the Huskies for the past two-and-a-half years and said this past season “has been the most amazing ride I’ve ever been on.” He added that seeing hundreds of people line up to get autographs from the Huskies players was very cool.
One of those waiting in line for Huskies autographs was 10-year-old Jake, who lives in Kansas and happens to be a Huskies fan. He and his family drove three hours to see Washington experience the CWS. Jake was holding some baseballs he had caught in the outfield when the players were practicing earlier in the afternoon.
“I was really happy that Washington made it,” Jake said while wearing a big smile and a hat with a big purple and gold “W” on it.
Catcher Nick Kahle said he is trying to soak in the whole atmosphere of the College World Series, including the fans.
“We are just looking to have some fun and embrace the moment,” Khale said.
Sophomore pitcher Jordan Jones said he is still amazed that his team made it to Omaha. “Growing up, you see it on TV and you never expect to get there yourself,” he said.
He thinks the Huskies players have a special bond that will translate onto the field in Omaha. “This is a special team,” Jones added. “We’ve got 35 brothers, and we are having a great time playing baseball and making a run at the national championship.”