A week of celebration commemorating the 20-year anniversary of David Allen Memorial Ballpark was capped off Friday with an atmosphere the field had never previously seen.
A bursting roar erupted from a crowd of more than 4,200 spectators as the Northern Oklahoma College Enid Jets claimed their first-ever NJCAA Division II World Series National Championship.
Just seconds before, tension could be felt in the calm air as Mesa threatened to walk-off with the winning run standing on second.
A record-setting number of fans jammed their way into the seats of the ballpark to witness arguably the biggest sporting event the City of Enid has ever hosted.
A handful of those in attendance Friday secured their spot in the stands nearly two hours before the first-pitch at 7:01 p.m.
Pete Sellers, the dad of NOC Enid's starting pitcher Wyatt Sellers, sat down in his seat at 5:06 p.m. His long-time friend Bruce Alcorn was seated next to him after making the 2-hour drive west from Sapulpa. Alcorn was Wyatt's Little League coach before sending him off to the next level.
Of all the empty stadium chairs free for their taking, Pete, generally not a superstitious person, decided to sit in the same place he did Thursday when NOC Enid defeated Pasco-Hernando to clinch a spot in the championship game.
Pete and Alcorn sat in the two far left seats of the second row behind home plate. That's where the two friends watched Wyatt pitch six innings of work to help the Jets clinch the World Series title.
"That's why we came two hours early," Pete said after hugging his son Wyatt on the field amidst the chaos of celebration. "To see that happen."
It didn't take long for the crowds to file into David Allen Memorial Ballpark before the highly-anticipated contest.
At 5:35 p.m., nearly 200 spectators were in their seats awaiting the start. Some laid blankets across the benches behind the dugout or over the stadium chairs to reserve them for others who were on their way.
By 6 p.m., the main stands surrounding the infield were nearly full. A line began to form outside the front gates of the ballpark with a little less than 30 minutes to go before the lineups were announced.
The latecomers were welcomed with standing-room only as the bleachers in right-field filled quickly.
Mary Ann Harris, an instructor at NOC Enid, arrived at the ballpark just before the first pitch. She wasn't expecting the stands to be as full as they were, but she was able to find a seat in the outfield to watch the Jets.
The atmosphere left its mark on those who made the trip to root on Mesa.
Father and son, Ken and Dave Pollon traveled nearly 20 hours from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, to cheer on the Thunderbirds. Dave's son Zane Pollon is on the roster, but did not play in the Series after injuring his arm in the Regional tournament.
"I've never seen anything like this," Ken said. "I just — I don't want to go home."
Dave shared the same perspective.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. They really support the home team here. You know when they're playing, this place is packed."
The long trip south didn't end the way the Pollons wanted, but the exhilarating scene of the the World Series left a lasting memory they'll take back home.