Coach Ray Tanner and his Gamecocks were congratulated by thousands at Colonial Life Arena.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Fans greeted the USC baseball team with roaring cheers Wednesday afternoon, as the Gamecocks returned home to Columbia for a victory party to recognized their latest national championship.
The event was held at the Colonial Life Arena, roughly a half-hour after the team's plane arrived at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
"You guys sure know how to party," USC Coach Ray Tanner told the crowd, listed at 11,280.
Tanner's Gamecocks secured a second-straight title with a 5-2 win Tuesday night.
Tanner praised his fans and his team during his remarks, including first-baseman Christian Walker's ability to play through an injury to his wrist.
Amid all the yelling and excitement, USC pitcher Michael Roth made a little bit of news. The junior, who's considered the team's ace, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. But Roth seemed to indicate he's returning when he said, "I'm pretty sure I'll see you back in here in August." Roth followed that up by closing out his remarks with, "we'll see you back here next year."
His teammate, closer Matt Price, also heard chants to return for one more year. Price, however, didn't indicate which way he was leaning.
The partying isn't over for USC. Friday, the City of Columbia will hold a parade through the city's downtown. The parade route will be down Main Street, and end at the State House, where there will be a rally.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said 40,000 people came to last year's event, and he challenged the Gamecock Nation to beat that total this time around.
However, for the next day or so, the team may need a break. After the rally Wednesday, Walker used his Twitter to send a one word message: "Tired."