UC Irvine Anteaters
This summer, the Exchange Club of Omaha hosted the University of California - Irvine baseball team during the College World Series. Exchangites greeted the team when they arrived in Omaha by bus from their Witchita Super Regional.
On Sunday, June 17th, the Club hosted a brunch for the Anteaters at Happy Hollow Country Club. Exchange Club families enjoyed meeting the players, and the children had an opportunity to have baseballs and hats autographed by them. The brunch was held the morning after the Anteaters' first game, which was a 4-3 loss to Arizona State. The brunch and the team's first game loss gave Exchangite, Tom Helligso, a chance to give his "you can do it" pep talk to the team about how they can come back and still win the tournament. Tom's talk did the trick for the 2006 Oregon State Beavers in 2006!
After each game, Exchangites provided the team with sandwiches and drinks as they would board their bus at Rosenblatt Stadium. Club members provided a late-night pizza party for the team after their extra-inning win over Arizona State on Tuesday night, June 19th, when they returned to their hotel.
The UC-Irvine Anteaters made history by winning the longest CWS game to date against Cal State Fullerton, a 13 inning, 5 hour and 40 minute game. They also became the only CWS team to win back-to-back extra-inning games when they beat Arizona State 8 to 7 the following night. Both games were must-win elimination games.
The Anteaters ultimately lost to the Oregon State Beavers, who won the Series for the second year in a row!