SACRAMENTO, California. (KTXL) – College baseball teams finally return to play after nearly a year off due to the pandemic.
Sacramento State will play a three-game series with Arizona State University this weekend.
“I think the phrase ‘you do not know what you have until it’s gone’ just suits us all very well,” said junior Hornets pitcher Stone Churby. “I mean, we kind of took it for granted to go to the classroom every day and then get out on the field.”
The Hornets were allowed to return to the field last month, but being in the classroom will have to wait until the fall.
Still, they said it’s a sense of relief just to be able to have a season. Sacramento State last played a game 11 months ago.
“Yes, it has been tough. I mean, fortunately, the NCAA gave quite a few of us some qualification back, “said sixth-year senior Matt Smith.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association also allowed college baseball tournaments to expand to 40 this season, both to provide additional qualification for players and also to allow teams to retain their incoming recruits.
“It has been very challenging for the younger boys, you know. You have a group of first-year students who have not had a high school season, who just did not play summer baseball, “said head coach Reggie Christiansen.” What I told them is: ‘You have to be around boys who do it the way it should be done. So this will be a great opportunity for you to grow and see what they do. ‘”
“There’s a lot of excitement around the season just because it’s been a whole year since we’ve played a real baseball game against an opponent,” Smith told FOX40. “We are counting down the days. Soon we’ll be playing down in Arizona. ”
It is expected to be a strong season again for Sacramento State, which brings back many of the same players from the Hornets’ 2019 team. The team won the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament before losing twice to Stanford in the regionals.
“I think this is one of the most special teams that has ever come through here,” said Churby. “It is definitely the most special team I have been on, and this is my fourth year here. This team has high expectations, and we are definitely ready to meet those expectations. ”
“We knew at one point that we were going to play baseball again, and they have done a very good job of staying focused, and I think we have done a pretty good job from the protocol’s point of view of being able to be ready to play. , ”Said Christiansen.
By the way, the only time the Hornets have played the Sun Devils was back in the 2014 NCAA Regionals, where Sacramento State beat ASU.
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