By T. Scott Boatright
It’s a rite of summer for College Baseball Hall of Fame Coach Wilbert Ellis.
As he’s done for more than 20 years now, Ellis is packing his bags to serve as a Super Regional director for the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
This year’s destination is Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Super Regional pitting No. 1 Arkansas against North Carolina State, the team that won last weekend’s Ruston Regional.
Ellis heads to Fayetteville this morning.
“That’s going to be a great Super Regional,” Ellis said. “Arkansas is No. 1 in the country, but North Carolina State is playing some great baseball right now. I saw that firsthand last weekend over at Louisiana Tech. They’re one of the hottest teams in the country right now and that shortstop they have (Jose Torres) is really something else.
“I’m excited about being able to do this again. I love this time of year and the atmosphere you have at these Super Regionals. This will not only bring back some great memories — it helps me feel young again. I just love it.”
And soon Ellis will be on the road again, this time for his annual journey to Omaha, Nebraska to conduct his annual Youth Clinic held in conjunction with the College World Series.
“The clinic will be on June 16,” Ellis said. “We’ll do like we always do — teach fundamentals about baseball but also fundamentals about life and things like the importance of kids continuing their education and staying away from drugs and that kind of thing.
“I’ll be up there eight or nine days, so I’ll see a lot of baseball, too, even if I don’t stay through the whole thing.”
But first it’s on to Fayetteville.
“They have some great facilities up there,” Ellis said. “I served as the Super Regional director there in 2018. It’s a great atmosphere and they love their baseball there. And I saw last week that North Carolina State travels with a loyal and loud group of fans, too. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.”