Spring Hill College’s baseball head coach Frank Sims and pitcher A.J. Fell shared an update on the first half of the season and what is to expect for the remainder of the semester.
Despite the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Feb. 24 decision to cancel “all conference scheduling and championship events'' this spring, SHC’s baseball team had a decent amount of games scheduled this semester. According to shcbadgers.com, the team shows an 11-10 record and has another 14 games scheduled until April 28. This is not the type of record the team was expecting at the start of the season: “We have a chance to make something special,” declared designated hitter Max Mattione before their opening game this semester.
For coach Sims, the recurrent lack of consistency has been the team’s main issue this season: “we have played up and down so far this season. If we can become a little more consistent team we could win a lot more games,” he said. Frank Sims also points out the “frustrating” aspect of the game of baseball: “one day we will pitch well and not hit, then the next day hit well and not pitch well. It’s frustrating to the coaches and to the players,” he stated.
For pitcher A.J. Fell, the biggest challenges the team had to deal with this semester were the “tedious” COVID-19 protocols and the cancellation of the postseason. He is “extremely disappointed” by the SIAC’s decision to cancel all postseason activity which was taken by “higher ups who pay no attention to the heart and soul that their athletes dedicate to their sport,” he said. Fell also points out the lack of motivation and purpose this decision creates: “each school has worked tirelessly to ensure that they meet the COVID-19 requirements and that their athletes are safe, but now, for what?” he stated.
Those COVID-19 protocols involve a massive testing of the athletes before and after each one of their games. The athletes are also subjected to random testing once a week. In addition to that, they are also required to wear a mask and practice social distancing in the dugouts.