Texas State baseball is officially back practicing and preparing for the upcoming 2021 season.
Practices began Oct. 1 and the team is planning on having 28 practices spread over 45 days.
In addition to regular practices, the team will also have inter-squad scrimmages. Both practices and scrimmages are open to the public. Attendees must wear a mask, get their temperature checked upon entry and practice social distancing.
"It's just a lot before [practice] like getting screened and, as you see, everyone is walking around wearing masks and disinfecting our hands." Trout said. "During inter-squads, we have the pitchers in the stands instead of the dugout just to space out more— just a lot more spacing as we go to practice."
Due to this, there have been a couple of setbacks, but redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Bush says all is well so far.
“For the practices that we’ve had, we had to stop for two weeks a few times, but other than that we’ve got to inter-squad [scrimmages] a few times, a few team practices and a bunch of individual stuff," Bush said. "It’s looking well though.”
The season will begin with the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston, March 5-7, where the team will play some big-name opponents.
“This year, we go to [the] Minute Maid tournament, which will be really fun. We get to play Texas Tech, Rice and TCU,” Head Coach Steven Trout said.
Last season, Trout's first year at the helm, the Bobcats held a Sun Belt Conference-best 14-4 record before the remainder of the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Players say they excited to get another chance this season, especially those who were seniors last season and granted an extra year of eligibility.
One beneficiary of the extended eligibility, senior infielder Jaxon Williams, says he did not hesitate to take advantage of a second shot at a farewell season.
“It’s an amazing opportunity because we were off to a hot start last year and got cut short because of [COVID-19], but we’re ready to get back,” Williams said.
Younger players like Bush are looking forward to finishing their first season.
"Obviously it was cut short, but I think we had something going, and it was working pretty well, so I'm just excited to see all the guys back and have a chance," Bush said.
Just like the players, Trout says he is ready to get back to action.
“I’ve always loved my job coaching, but when it gets taken away from you and then you finally get to get back out here, you never take a day for granted,” Trout said.