The Subway Series came and went for Casey Savin, a 21-year-old Stony Brook student who follows Major League Baseball and some Minor League Baseball and college baseball. Instead, she watched the Stony Brook Seawolves on TV this weekend as they beat LSU to win the NCAA's Baton Rouge Super Regional and earn a trip to the College World Series.
The Seawolves' rapid ascension has many across the country putting Stony Brook in the same sentence as many of the typical baseball powerhouses – and Savin couldn't be prouder to wear red right now. "Just to see my team, my Stony Brook Seawolves, up there with them is really great," she said.
She's not alone. The university community welcomed home its new favorite baseball team on Monday, with hundreds of students, staff members and other university athletes cheering for the Seawolves as they got off the bus that took them home from the airport.
"Wow, this is unbelievable. This is totally unexpected," head coach Matt Senk said. "... We're so excited about going to the CWS. We can't wait to get out there and continue to show everyone what a great team we are and what a great university we get to represent."
The team enters the College World Series as only the second No. 4 seed to advance to the College World Series since the NCAA went to its current format in 1999. They own a 52-13 record, having knocked off powerhouse teams like Miami and LSU, both of whom were No. 1 seeds in their brackets.
"I think a story about a team that was underestimated by a lot of people and has gone on to reach one of the pinnacles of the sport is an amazing story that I think speaks a lot about Stony Brook," university president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said at the rally. "... It's a great thing for us, I think it's a great thing for Long Island, the region and for New York state as well to participate on this kind of stage."
As for the upcoming matchup with UCLA (47-14), Senk said the strategy will be "continue to do the same thing." The Seawolves enter the series having won 28 of their last 31 games. They are also riding a slew of media attention – along with a wave of social media shoutouts that even saw Stony Brook trending on Twitter after the Game 3 win over LSU on Sunday.
"We kind of continued, as we have all year, playing strongly in all facets of the game," he said. "... Right now we've proven that it's a pretty strong winning formula."