Opinion: The baseball team was robbed of its magical season
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belmont baseball team’s season came to an abrupt end on March 16. When the Ohio Valley Conference announced the cancelation of all intercollegiate competitions for the remainder of the academic year many athletes had their entire lives stop.
“I was upset to say the least,” senior captain Chandler Adkins said. “Basically my whole life has revolved around baseball since I was a kid. I knew that it was coming to an end, but in no way could I have predicted it to be like this.”
The Bruins were on an eight-game win streak before the season ended with a record of 14-3. In conference play, they were 3-0, sweeping Morehead State.
Five of the last eight games were won by walk-offs. The team was exciting and showed a lot of heart before it was ripped about from the pandemic.
The team collected some impressive wins during its short season. In the home opener against Kansas, the Bruins delivered a shutout with a score of 6-0. They won all the games in the Turface Classic, beating Samford, Missouri State, Evansville and Bradley. In the last game before the season ended, Belmont came out on top against Toledo with a walk-off from sophomore Tommy Crider.
Sitting pretty at a home record of 10-2 and 20 overall home runs, the Bruins looked as though their season could have been more than just their projected fourth place finish. They were tied for first with SIU-Edwardsville in the conference.
Some players who were having all-star caliber seasons were Logan Jarvis, Jackson Campbell, Joshua South, and Kyle Brennans.
When it comes to batting, Jarvis led the team in batting average at .371, including 23 hits, eight doubles and three home runs. Jarvis was also named the final Tennessee Sports Writer Association Player of the Week on March 10 before the season concluded. Campbell fought close behind with an average of .339 which included 19 hits, six doubles and six home runs.
The team’s top two aces South and Brennan were Belmont’s commanded the mound stunning ERAs of 1.45 and 1.5 respectively. South was named the 25th top pitcher out of 50 in NCAA baseball. Brennan collected five wins and 23 strikeouts while South gathered two wins and 26 strikeouts.
South and Brennan were named OVC Player of the Week during the first two weeks of the season. Brennan was predicted to be the OVC Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He was also named in the 2020 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award Preseason Watch List.
There was doubt that this team was special and got robbed of what could have been one of the best seasons the Bruins have seen in a few years.
But even though the season was cut short, this group of guys can get another shot as the NCAA has given all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility. This means that seniors can choose to stay one more year if they want to. For guys like Adkins, it meant the world but still doesn’t change the fact that this season had magic.
“I think it is awesome. Hopefully, it works out for all the guys that want to come back and
Play,” said Adkins. “However, nothing can replace what this year was supposed to be.”
The Belmont baseball team showed their strengths early in the season. As the season progressed, the players hoped to achieve victory, and if the first part of the season was any indicator, they were well on their way to reaching their goals.
“All we can control is what we can control; the rest is up to Him,” Adkins said. “I am trying to
be thankful during this storm, humble in hardship, and take all the valuable lessons the game
has taught me throughout my career to whatever God has for me next.”
Although the team only played for a short time this season, it worked hard to create magical moments for its fans. It broke down barriers and proved predictions wrong.
The success they found and excitement they gave others could have blossomed into an unforgettable season. But even though their time was cut short, fans and players alike can reminisce on the past two months and look at how extraordinary the Belmont baseball team played.
Article written by Laura Privott.