Fans and shops prepare for Series
Genny Wrenn said the College World Series T-shirts and hats she ordered will be printed and sent to her store when the UNC men’s baseball team wins the national championship in Omaha.
Not if. She emphasizes the “when.”
Wrenn, the daughter of the owner of The Shrunken Head Boutique, a store on Franklin Street that sells Tar Heel apparel and accessories, said she placed her CWS championship orders — called “If/When” orders — Tuesday, after UNC beat South Carolina.
“[The merchandise] won’t be printed of course until the last inning, if they win,” Wrenn said. “When they win.”
She said she’s anxious, but she believes the Tar Heels will win the Series.
“This is their year,” said Wrenn, who will probably be watching the Tar Heels’ first game this afternoon at 3 against N.C. State at her parents’ house.
She said the T-shirt design she ordered is “beautiful” and portrays all the teams “that [the Tar Heels] beat.”
Wrenn also made “If/When” orders before the team won the ACC championship. Those hats and shirts are in the store now, but she said at this point fans are looking for a Series win and thus champion merchandise.
“Now everybody’s waiting for the big boy, the big win,” Wrenn said.
Holly Dedmond, store manager for Chapel Hill Sportswear, said that last week her store made what she called “What If” orders for 14 different College World Series shirts, all with different designs — to be printed and shipped if UNC beat South Carolina and made it into the Series.
Dedmond said she’s had people coming into the store and calling to ask about Series shirts.
Matt Clements , director of Operations at Carolina Brewery, said he thinks the combination of Father’s Day and the Sunday game will bring people to the Brewery to watch.
Clements is also a baseball beat writer for Inside Carolina, a website and magazine covering UNC sports.
“It’s kind of shame that I don’t get a chance to go to Omaha,” Clements said, but he said he’s still excited about having viewing parties with friends at the Brewery.
“There’s nothing as entertaining as State playing Carolina in anything,” Clements said.
Clements said that the Brewery’s two separate locations make for an interesting fan base.
“Obviously having a Chapel Hill location, we have a lot of Carolina fans, but it’s interesting having a Pittsboro location, too. It’s more even, ACC type of fans,” Clements said. “So I suspect we’ll have a lot of State fans out at our Pittsboro location that are really looking forward to this game.”
He said many people came to watch the South Carolina game Tuesday, calling the Brewery’s atmosphere “electric” during that game. He said fans also stayed late for ACC games.
“The best thing about 3 o’clock games is if they go to extra innings, we have nine hours before last call,” Clements said.
Charlie Pace, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, said the Tar Heels “gotta take down the Wolfpack.”
“State’s throwing their best pitcher — he might be the best pitcher in the country — so we beat him last time. We’re looking to do it again,” Pace said. “[N.C. State has] always been an inferior opponent, so we have to win.”
One of Pace’s friends said that if he had a plane ticket, he’d fly to Omaha. Another said that he’d drive to Omaha — about a 19-hour ride — if he had a ticket to the game.
Instead, the friends said they might watch the game on the porch at Pantana Bob’s.
Westray Hicks, a UNC-CH student, said he’s watching Sunday’s game with his brothers at his fraternity house.
“I would definitely consider going to Omaha if I had the funds,” Hicks said.