A dozen cameramen and photographers arced around the doors of Stony Brook’s team bus Tuesday while hundreds of fans and school officials waited to hand out high-fives, hugs and congratulatory messages to their underdog Seawolves.
Stony Brook’s in the College World Series — and the team was greeted on its home campus to celebrate the improbable feat.
Screenwriters couldn’t have scripted this.
Seriously. Travis Jankowski, the Seawolves’ stud center fielder, told the New York Post that the welcome-back pep rally topped all of those dramatic movie or TV scenes.
“It was like Friday Night Lights when they’re going to the championship game, but it was after we won so it was a little better,” Jankowski said.
Also, a better moment on Tuesday because it was REAL LIFE. Though one can understand if Stony Brooks players feel like they’re dreaming.
We’ll have plenty of coverage on Stony Brook and its storybook season in The World-Herald during the coming days.
But I dedicate the remainder of the blog to recapping the reaction. Stony Brook has trended on Twitter (#ShockTheWorld). It led ESPN’s SportsCenter. On Monday, it was the No. 3 most-searched topic on Google. Highlights of what you may have missed are below. Enjoy!
>> Our Matthew Hansen found a Stony Brook fan here in Omaha who wasn’t sure where the Seawolves played baseball on his alma mater’s campus. A fine institution, though.
>> World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel address an unexpected apparel shortage: Very few Stony Brook baseball hats exist.
>> Stony Brook’s only MLB player, Rangers’ reliever Joe Nathan, watched the Seawolves win the Super Regional during a flight. The plane had DirecTV. … Oh, and Nathan doesn’t think this is an underdog story.
>> Not everyone’s gushing over Stony Brook, though. Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a huge Florida fan, is upset his Gators play South Carolina to open the CWS — and not the Seawolves. He said this to MLB Network (6:30 mark of video): “Somehow they’ve got to find a way to re-seed these brackets. Shouldn’t the No. 1 overall seed get Stony Brook or something like that in the College World Series? Instead of like, the other really good team in the bracket?”
>> Stony Brook’s postseason success only exposes college football decision-makers’ nonsensical stubbornness even more, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde. And it’s a little-guy-miracle-run that can’t happen in a four-team playoff structure.
>> CNBC business reporter Darren Rovell weighed in. The coolest nugget: Of the seven Stony Brook players drafted last week, only one was ranked as a Division I prospect by Perfect Game. Third baseman William Carmona was 1,209th nationally.
>> ESPN MLB analyst Doug Glanville is a Northeast-bred ballplayer who broke down the Seawolves and came away quite impressed.