OMAHA, Neb. - The pain was on his face, and it was clearly in his
North Carolina coach Mike Fox couldn't bear to watch Oregon State celebrate a
College World Series victory over the Tar Heels for second straight year. After
all, he had just seen his team drop its fourth in a row to the Beavers - the Tar
Heels went 8-1 against all other comers in the College World Series the past two
"What an unbelievable accomplishment, that is, to win back-to-back national
championships," Fox credited Oregon State.
An unbelievable accomplishment to finish second back-to-back, too.
The Tar Heels never got untracked in the College World
Series championship series. The comebacks that fueled their run to Omaha were
nowhere to be found, as hard-hit balls found gloves and scoring opportunities
went by the wayside.
"We’re obviously disappointed, but that disappointment quickly turns to our
season and how proud I am of our players," Fox said. "You just get a flow of
emotions. The last game of the season is always the hardest."
is a special place. I wouldn’t want to end our season anywhere else, honestly."
Thus, the pain, as the Tar Heels became the first team
since Stanford in 2000-01 to lose back-to-back titles.
Most of his players watched the celebration from the top
step of the third-base dugout. Reid Fronk, according to Fox, didn't want to
watch, and Fox said that he didn't either. His voiced cracked a bit as he
swelled with emotion, saying, "I have to appear tough, but I'm really not."
As for the players, shortstop Josh Horton may have summed
it up best.
"I’m just appreciative that I’ve been blessed to have two years like that back
to back," he said.