MEDFORD—Dylan Pearce signed so many autographs at Sunday’s Medford Rogues game his hand almost fell off.
"Oh my gosh I've signed so many I probably got something wrong with my hands now,” he said.
But of course, that comes with the territory of returning home after you win an NCAA Championship.
It was “Celebrate Oregon State Night" at the Medford Rogues Great West League battle with the Chico Heat.
Crater High School and Rogues alumnus Dylan Pearce was in attendance to throw out the first pitch, and to reflect on reaching the pinnacle of college baseball.
"It hasn't set in yet honestly,” Pearce said. “It's something I've worked for my whole life. Being able to win the Great West League championship and then going and winning the whole thing at the NCAA level with the Beavers is surreal. I don't think it's going to set in for a while but I wake up each morning and I think, 'Man alive we did it, we did it.'"
It's been quite the journey for Pearce, who played his high school ball at Crater and then went the junior college route.
He always had visions of Oregon State though, and his first year with the Beavers blew away his wildest expectations.
"You see as a kid on TV people playing at the World Series and you're like, ‘Man that could just be unreal to be at,’” he said. “We finally get there and we pull up to TD Ameritrade Park, we walk down the hall, we're all dressed in our gear, we walk through the tunnel and it opens up in the field and you see 26,000 people and you're like, ‘I made it.’ It's a feeling you can't almost describe unless you're there."
A championship homecoming for Pearce drew hundreds of Oregon State fans. Little did they know they'd also be treated with a championship head coach.
Rumblings that Pat Casey would be there only added to the excitement.
"I don't think there's ever been a summer that I've missed going to a game in Medford,” Casey said. “BG Gould is a great friend of mine. Dylan Pearce was going to throw out the first pitch tonight. Tyler Graham is coaching. I wanted to watch a game, see a couple guys play. It's hard to wind down. It's just great for me to get out and get on the road and I really enjoy coming down here."
Together Pearce and Casey headlined the night—the Beavers championship celebration has officially reached Medford.