Emerson baseball returns to the diamond for practice

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Media: Beacon Archive

The baseball team will begin practicing this week while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

By Nate Lannan

After last season was abruptly cancelled to prevent the initial spread of COVID-19, Emerson baseball will finally bounce back and return to the diamond. 

The team is starting practice this week, but with a focus on conditioning. They will continue to practice for five weeks.

“We’re going in small groups,” head coach Nick Vennochi said. “We can start adding equipment as the fall goes on in hopes for the fourth and fifth week to be not a full team practice, but hitting the ground balls and fly balls and throwing some bullpens.”

Vennochi also expressed that his players are excited to get back on the diamond and compete. 

“[They are] excited to have any kind of season, to be with their team, to be with their coaches,” Vennochi said. “I know that it’s not perfect. They want to play, they want to scrimmage, they want to do what we normally do, but then the guys all understand that there are sacrifices that need to be made to hopefully… have some semblance of a normal life.” 

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Vennochi and his players made it clear that while there will be challenges and unfamiliarities ahead, they are more than ready to take them on. 

“It’s going to be a lot of time and sacrifices,” junior pitcher and outfielder Michael Logerwell said. “It’s gonna be more in the conditioning realm. We’re going to try to do as much as we can without necessarily breaking the rules. But I know we’re not going to be using baseballs until, like, the second week.”

First-year third baseman Sebastian Germosen said he is more than ready to take on the challenges of a pandemic-restricted season, and he’s relieved that baseball is coming back.

“Transitioning to college ball hasn’t been hard, but with the restrictions and lack of real practice, my preparation for the season isn’t the same,” Germosen said. “A year ago, I was able to go out with my teammates or with my dad to get work in and practice. With my high school team, we practiced every day for about three hours. I was able to go to the weight room and work out any time. Now, we’re starting practice a month late, and we won’t be able to have regular practice for a couple of weeks due to some restrictions we have.”

While the pandemic has not quite silenced baseball like it has with other aspects of life, it still forces those in charge to introduce some pretty imposing restrictions. 

“I mean, obviously we’re going to be washing our hands, washing equipment as much as we possibly can,” Vennochi said. “But we’re going to be told the guidelines we have to be under by the NCAA, by our conference, and by our department.”

Logerwell is also anticipating some restrictions.

“I expect we’re going to have to get tested a lot, and we’re really going to be monitored heavily,” Logerwell said. “This constant testing and sanitation, staples of the pandemic, have permeated the world of baseball very easily.”

Despite the restrictions, the Lions’ outlook seems positive. The team is looking forward to the beginning of the season, and they’re excited to get back to the diamond. 

“We’re happy to have what we have for sure,” Vennochi said. “I know we’re going to work hard, I know that we’re going to be positive, I know that we’re going to be energetic.”