It was made official last Tuesday that Rowan baseball would return for the spring season. After collegiate sports were abruptly shut down almost a year ago, the Rowan baseball team and other spring sports will be returning to action in just a few weeks.
The team was 6-0 to start last season and was winning games in dominant fashion at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational when it became apparent that the season would be shutting down. It was a moment that senior and co-captain Nick Schooley says he will never forget.
“We were watching basketball and it was the whole night where Rudy Gobert got COVID and had to be taken off the floor and the NBA started shutting down,” Schooley said. “So, we kind of saw it coming, even before they told us directly, but obviously it sucked because they always tell you that you’re never going to know when your career is going to end or when your season is going to end. But this was really the first time that it was like a rude awakening.”
The baseball team will be among the first teams to return to play for Rowan since the shutdown after winter and fall sports saw their seasons canceled. And after uncertainty loomed about whether or not spring sports would suffer the same fate, Head Coach Mike Dickson says he is just happy to be back out there with his team.
“To get back on the field with the players and to be around the players and see the excitement on their faces is awesome for me,” Dickson said.
And while Dickson said the outcome of last season was “devastating,” he is ready to put that behind and look ahead to the future.
“No matter how good or how bad the season is prior, you have to be able to move on and treat 2021 as a whole new season,” Dickson said.
While Schooley is also looking to move onto this season, the early success from last year is something he is looking to bring along with him. Schooley finished the shortened season with a batting average of .368 and six RBIs, but he says that the success of the team is what is most important.
“I would just like to keep it simple; try and continue to do the same stuff I was doing last year,” Schooley said. “Really, for me, it’s just all about what I can do to help us win.”
The team’s first game, which was scheduled for Mar. 9 against Wilkes University, was canceled shortly after the announcement of the return of spring sports. Schooley said that the early cancellation was “frustrating,” but ultimately, the team is happy that they are getting the chance to play.
“Just the fact that there is going to be a first game at all, no matter when it is, is just a big sigh of relief for all of us,” Schooley said.
As it stands now, the team is scheduled to travel to Salisbury University for their season opener on Mar. 13. The team will be playing a doubleheader against Salisbury on that Saturday to start what everyone hopes will be a safe and successful season.
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