NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Trevecca Trojans are about to make their College World Series debut.
"I don't know if it's sunk in yet. it's surreal to be honest," says Trevecca outfielder Braden Odom.
What is surreal is how this journey played out.
In 2020, Trevecca was about to play a series in North Carolina when COVID canceled their season.
"We saw our last NBA games were happening then and we watched it live. And then the next day it completely shut all of us down," says Trevecca pitcher Alex Clothier.
But, from disappointment grew determination.
10 seniors decided to return for an extra year to chase championship hopes.
“Two or three guys had really good jobs lined up too. I just think it's awesome they came back and made this happen," says Trevecca pitcher Drew Pierce.
Steering the ship is Chase Sain, a former assistant, who took over as head coach in August when Ryan Schmalz resigned.
“It's been an interesting year, but it's been a blast,” says Sain.
“These guys, it's a special group. We knew that all year."
How's this for special?
The trojans have won 36 games this season.
That includes a conference title, which they won without 11 guys because one positive COVID test knocked them out.
And then a Midwest Regional championship.
Now, they're one of just eight teams in the country who will compete in the Division II College World Series.
"Coach Sain told us, have fun. Soak it up and enjoy the moment. That's what we did. So why change anything now?" says Odom.
“My message going into the College World Series this week is, nothing changes. Have a blast, enjoy every second you get to spend with each other," adds Sain.
The tournament, as fate would have it, is in North Carolina.
A return trip for the team looking to finish this season on its own terms.
“It’s pretty ironic I guess,” says Clothier.
“It's just crazy that's where we ended and where we'll hopefully end again, with another dogpile, to be honest."
Trevecca is the #4 seed in the CWS and will play its first game Saturday at 1pm against #5 Tampa.