June 14, 2007
OMAHA, Neb. - The Arizona State Sun Devils completed their first full day in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the College World Series. ASU is making their 20th all-time appearance in the College World Series.
The day began with the team making their first visit to Rosenblatt Stadium for the Fan Fest. After taking the team photo in front of the famous statue, the team entered Rosenblatt Stadium for the first time. Some players met with ESPN for interviews, while the rest mingled with fans, signing autographs and chatting with the legion of Sun Devil fans who have made the trip to Omaha.
The Devils then made their way onto to their field for their practice at Rosenblatt. After a few rounds of batting practice and some drills, the players made their way onto the concourse for an autograph session. The line stretched all the way from the third base side to the main gates of the stadium behind home plate. Following the autograph session, the team went back to their hotel to grab some rest before the opening ceremonies.
The team arrived back at Rosenblatt, and in what has become the norm, was surrounded by autograph seekers and well-wishers. The players and coaches made their way into the official BBQ tent, and enjoyed a dinner of ribs, chicken, brisket and one of the most impressive dessert assortments you can imagine. All that needs to be said is: Chocolate River.
After dinner, the team took in Fan Fest, wandering from booth to booth, looking at the vendors and various activites surrounding Rosenblatt Stadium. The team then gathered in the stadium for the Opening Ceremonies.
Arizona State was the first of the eight teams to enter the stadium, walking in from beyond the wall in left, making their way to center, and then taking their seats along the third base side. After all the teams had entered, the fans were greeted by the Navy Leap Frogs, as they parachuted down to the field, each carrying a school flag. Team captain Rocky Laguna met the Arizona State flag at second base and brought it back over to his teammates.
Once all eigtht teams had their flags, the NCAA handed out academic awards to one member of each school. Petey Paramore was ASU's winner, and he accepted the award from NCAA Selection Committee Chairman Larry Templeton.
A spine-tingling fireworks display closed out the evening, as the players all huddled around and took photos and video of the shimmering explosions.
Friday is a practice day, and then it will be back to business, as Arizona State will face UC Irvine in the opener on Saturday morning. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Phoenix.