It wasn’t the welcome they had hoped for, but Vanderbilt fans certainly made it memorable. 
The Vanderbilt baseball team returned to Hawkins Field Thursday afternoon after a 9-0 loss to Mississippi State on Wednesday in the College World Series final ended its chance of repeating as national champions. 
The team arrived from its 15-day Omaha trip at approximately 2:15 p.m. to fans of all ages in black and gold, as the Vanderbilt fight song blared through stadium speakers.
It's very difficult to get to Omaha and it's very difficult to win," coach Tim Corbin said. "We've been very fortunate to get to this final week and stay, lock the door and throw away the key. We just didn't happen to be the last one." 
"It was great to be out there and spend our last eight days as a team
 together," freshman outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. said. "We didn't have the outcome we wanted to, but Commodore Nation is always here for us, win or lose."
The freshman outfielder from Hialeah, Florida, ended the season as the NCAA leader with 47 stolen bases this year. He was one of 32 underclassmen on Vanderbilt's roster, a young core who experienced Omaha baseball for the first time.
"I think once you get there and you're in the middle of it, you start understanding what Omaha really is, and it's completely different." Corbin said. "It will harden those guys and will add some skin to them, and certainly mature them like you want all experiences to do for your kids."
Corbin thanked the fans for their support. 
"I promise you ..." Corbin said before taking a pause, filled with emotion. "I promise you we'll be back."
Bradfield agreed with Corbin's sentiment.
"Oh yeah," he declared with a smile. "We'll be back."

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