OMAHA, Neb. — Matt Slowik got a text message from Texas Tech catcher Mason Randolph two hours after Slowik and his mother began the 800-mile and 14-hour drive from Lubbock to Omaha, Nebraska.
The Tech player was already there.
“It said, ‘We are already in Omaha; it took us two hours,’ ” said Slowik, who along with his mother, Susan Rowley, stood in line for 30 minutes to get autographs from the Red Raiders at TD Ameritrade Park on Friday.
“We still had 12 hours to go,” Rowley added.
Rowley made the drive with her 12-year-old son — and paid a hefty price for tickets — to watch Tech take on TCU in the College World Series on Sunday at 2 p.m.
But for them, it was more than just a chance to watch the team.
They made the drive to support Randolph, who has been coaching Slowik and teaching him how to be a catcher.
“We can’t pay him because of NCAA rules, but we know his family and he has been a great help to my son,” said Rowley.
Chris and Whitney Talbert made the long drive to Omaha to support the team with their two children, John, 6, and Katherine, 4.
“It is the first time they have ever made it and we just wanted to support the team,” Chris Talbert said.
The Talberts attended most of the home games this season and did not want to miss a chance at a Tech team winning a national title, they said.
“We just love the team and the sport and want to be a part of it all,” Whitney Talbert said. “It is just exciting and fun to be here.”
Rowley, a Lubbock native, attended college at Creighton in Omaha and has made the 14-hour drive numerous times.
Thursday, she made it one more time for a simple reason; her son loves baseball and Texas Tech.
“I just love the entire game, the basics of the game, players and the role models,” Slowik said. “I just love it so much.”