He had heard a few stories of what it was like to be in Omaha, Neb., in late-June, but nothing could prepare Beau Amaral for what he was to about to experience.
Even when it was all over, two days removed from competing at the baseball College World Series, and on a campout July 1 with his family down in San Clemente, Amaral found it difficult to find the words to describe it all.
A year ago, he was playing in a CIF prep baseball final for Huntington Beach High.
For the past two weeks, at age 19, he had played on college baseball's ultimate stage, Rosenblatt Stadium, where he was a integral part of the UCLA Bruins' runner-up finish to the national title.
South Carolina won its first major national championship June 29 by rallying to edge the Bruins, 2-1, in 11 innings in the second game of the CWS Championship Series.