Packed arena welcomes returning National Champs

Wednesday, thousands of fans packed the Colonial Life Arena to welcome home the Gamecocks.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Thousands of fans clad in garnet and black gathered at the Colonial Life Arena to welcome home the Gamecocks Baseball Team after winning the College World Series Tuesday evening.

USC defeated the UCLA Bruins 2-1 in extra innings in the second game of the series to win their first national title.

Fans watched a replay of Tuesday's excitement while waiting for the team to arrive back from Omaha, Neb.

Outside, tailgaters braved the rain to celebrate the win.

The team touched down at Columbia Metro Airport just after 4:30 p.m. then made their way to the arena with the trophy in hand.

A loud, cheering crowd greeted the team.

But the party doesn't stop Wednesday. According to Governor Mark Sanford's office, the Gamecock flag will fly over the State House Thursday. The day will be officially designated as Gamecocks Baseball National Champions Day.

Sanford also announced that Coach Ray Tanner will be awarded with the Order of the Palmetto, the state's highest civilian award.

Friday, the city of Columbia will hold a parade that will take place on Main Street at noon.

Leave a comment below to congratulate the team on the big title.

We'll continue to bring you complete coverage as the celebration continues. Keep checking back on and WACH Fox News for the latest.

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