Last season, the baseball team ended their regular season with a record of 9-9, placing third in the section. While they made it to the playoff, they ended up losing in the first round against Waynesburg Central. This season, the team hoped to improve their record and have a winning season. However, with the cancellation of all spring sports due to the outbreak of coronavirus, things have started to seem a little bleak.
With the loss of several seniors from last year, such as former players Noah Henderson, Zach Rosa, Noah Yeck and Riley McIlvain, the now-seniors have to step up to take their place. These seniors, Maxwell Ujhazy, Nolan Colaric, Kevin Lawrence and Jacob Bauman, are four of the leaders on the 15-person team. Also on the team includes juniors Cole Beck, Paul Thompson, Tyler Reynolds and Matthew Keller, sophomores Josh Yeck, Tristan Clear and Carter Slowinski and new freshmen players Evan Blinn, Daniel Lewis, Luke Snavely and Jacob Milbert.
In order to prepare for the new season, the team had been working hard in order to get into shape. Due to the bad weather in the months of January and February, the team had been primarily practicing indoors to prepare for the upcoming season. However, during the times of good weather, the team practiced outside on the baseball field or on the turf field. One new thing the team did this year was travel to Pure Edge in Wexford, Pa., which is a performance training facility, where the team held some practice sessions.
Before the start of the regular season, the team had a scrimmage against Neshannock on March 12. In the scrimmage, a larger number of the players got a chance to play in the game to gain more experience for the regular season. While Freedom may have lost in the scrimmage, they still got more experience they could use in their next game.
However, before the team’s first game of the regular season against Rochester on March 20, all schools in the state were ordered to shut down in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. This meant that all of the baseball games had to be postponed until the schools could be opened again after at least two weeks.
“On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Wolf issued a directive to close all schools in the Commonwealth for 10 business days starting today, March 16, 2020. This means all school activities including sports practices, plays, musicals, mock trial, field trips, etc.,” the official PIAA account said in a message on social media.
With this postponement, the team would have to wait to play their first regular season game. The season could be cancelled if the outbreak is not slowed down or something is done to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“I am very upset that the season is postponed. I didn’t play last year, so I was really looking forward to playing this year, especially after working hard during practice. I hope that all of this is just short-term,” Colaric said.
The team must wait until the quarantine is lifted in order to resume practicing for their season. With the hopes that the season continues, the players all eagerly await the announcement for the continuation of the season.