TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – “We all talk about perspective. Sometimes we as much as anyone in the sport world needed slapped upside the head and reminded of what’s important.”
ISU head coach Mitch Hannahs is spending his days trying to schedule 2021 opponents.
Hannahs says,”The tough part a lot of the time in athletics and education, we know the starting date, we know when the semester starts, we know when everything kicks off, we know the ending date for the most part. When the season gets going you know when the regional tournaments are so I think the hard part for all of us right now is not having a start date or a finish date. Just the unknown has been tough for everyone.”
The Sycamores wrapped up the 2020 season in March with an 8-6 record and more questions than answers.
“It was really hard because as the leader of the group I didn’t have any answers. We are all scuffling through this together and trying to figure out what’s going on together and like I told our players at the time. We are all still on a team, it just becomes a bigger team. We have to do the things that are necessary that everyone stays healthy.”– Mitch Hannahs, ISU Baseball Head Coach
Now that the NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility, six of the nine Sycamore seniors are making plans to come back.
Hannahs says,”The good and the bad. The good: you get guys back. The bad: the guys that are waiting in the wings are going to be waiting longer and they have to decide if that really works for them and their timeline. So it’s good and bad. I think college baseball in general with the draft being reduced to five rounds, the quality of play is going to be extremely good the next few years.”
It was one year ago this week that ISU traveled to Nashville and won not one, but two NCAA Tournament games. This time off has given Hannahs an even bigger appreciation for that group.
Hannahs says,”Yeah, there’s no question that not just the shutdown, but the time to reflect on all of that. Makes you appreciate the young men that are in your program and the things that they were able to accomplish. Just being able to play right? Sometimes we take so much for granted. I got a text the other day from Sherard and said man, I miss baseball. I responded back that I miss the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Just the competition part. You miss it, but you don’t want to be selfish. Obviously the time that we are in, sport is pushed to the side and there are more important things, but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and think about last season.”
The Sycamores eliminated Ohio State hung around with the best team in all the land, Vanderbilt.
Hannahs says,”What stands out to me is just the competitive nature of the guys we had. Recruiting is such a flip of the coin sometimes. You see what you are getting in terms of the physical aspect, but you never know in terms of the mental and the heart and the competitiveness of the guys. That group, man were they tough and competitive.”
Now we all look forward to the 2021 baseball season and hope.
Hannahs says,”Sport will come back. Hopefully it’s this fall with football. It could be longer. I don’t know, but in time it will. We will all move forward and hopefully look back at this as a great learning curve for all of us.”