LOGAN— The Utah State club baseball team returned from Georgia Friday, bringing with it the NCBA National Championship trophy to celebrate with fans less than 24 hours after defeating the Colorado State Rams, 14-3, in the title game.
“It definitely feels good,” said junior pitcher Kyle Durrant, who was named MVP of the World Series. “This is something we’ve been working for, and it finally hit us when we went out to eat as a team. We’re very proud of ourselves for all of the hard work we put it.”
Durrant held Colorado State to three runs on nine hits through nine innings Thursday and didn’t allow a run until the seventh inning when the Aggies had already built a 9-0 lead. The title is Utah State’s first ever, in its first World Series appearance.
With the trophy resting securely on top of the cab of a Dodge truck, and a banner displayed off the back, players from the championship team rode into the vally, as a police escort slowly guided the caravan through the streets of Logan to Romney Stadium.
Cheers and excitement followed the team throughout the valley, as fans welcomed home Utah State’s newest champions and their tournament hardware. The team was met at the stadium by family members and loved ones to celebrate.
“Back in the fall, we had 10 guys quit the team,” Durrant said. “We had a team meeting and decided that this was what we want, this is what we expect and we just worked hard for it every day.”
That left the Aggies with a 15-man roster, smaller than every other team in the World Series tournament.
After finishing the regular season with seven straight wins, USU cruised through the playoffs, winning three straight to win the North Pacific Region championship, and four straight to capture the World Series Crown.
While Durrant and the defense shut the Rams down in the title game, the offense tore up the field with 14 runs on 15 hits – the highest scoring output for any team in the tournament. The Aggies scored 28 runs in four games en route to the championship, an average of 7 runs per game, while giving up seven total runs to their opponents.
Utah State started the tournament ranked fifth in the country, and in four tournament games dispatched of No. 4 UC San Diego, No. 1 ranked Georgia, and No. 2 Texas Tech before beating No. 6 Colorado State in the championship.
“It feels good,” said club president Brad Singer, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored Thursday. “We’ve never really had that respect. To be able to come out here with 15 guys and win this tournament, knowing teams don’t give us that respect to shut them up with phenomenal defense and crush the ball, it’s just satisfying.”