If you believe you get what you give, then Elliott Avent deserves this moment.
And his 25th NC State baseball team definitely had to earn it for him.
After a 1-8 ACC start, after a heartbreaking ACC title game loss, after a disastrous Super Regional start, the Wolfpack is headed back to Omaha, Neb. for the College World Series after Sunday’s dramatic win over top-ranked Arkansas.
In a season of comebacks, NC State produced one more on Sunday against the Razorbacks. After losing the first game of the series 21-2, the road wins on Saturday and Sunday were nothing short of amazing.
So is Avent.
It’s rare in the Triangle you find a coach or player who crosses the rivalry boundaries to the point where all sides can at least agree to respect them, if not root for them.
Roy Williams, Quinn Cook and Avent are on that very short list.
The more human you are, the easier it is for others to root for you. Consider what Avent has been through in the past 25 months.
The death of Bruce Winkworth, Avent’s longtime sports information director at NC State and full-time consigliere, in May 2019 started a series of excruciatingly emotional and personal losses for Avent.
Five months later, another one of Avent’s best friends, former NC State men’s soccer coach George Tarantini passed away. This past September, Chris Combs — the star of Avent’s first team in 1997 — lost his fight with ALS.
And perhaps the toughest