The Rowan baseball team will have another week without a game as their doubleheader that was scheduled for Saturday against Salisbury University has been canceled.
This marks the third game this season that has been canceled. This is likely to be a common occurrence throughout the season as teams are operating with the safety of their team as their first priority, explained Head Coach Mike Dickson.
“It’s obviously out of an abundance of caution. We take seriously the health and safety of our students for those games to be canceled,” Dickson said. “Obviously that’s the biggest thing, making sure our players are healthy and safe.”
While the early cancellations can be frustrating, Dickson is not worried about the morale of his team.
“If the virus has taught us anything, it’s that we have to try and be resilient,” Dickson said. “We hope better days are ahead of us, but it’s something that is affecting the world, let alone just athletics.”
For senior catcher and co-captain Jared Marks, it has been important to deliver a message of optimism to the team amidst the early season cancellations.
“Communication is definitely key. Just telling everyone to be patient. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will be on that field soon,” said Marks.
Following the cancellations, the team is scheduled to open their season against Cabrini University on Thursday, March 18. Rowan defeated Cabrini last season by a score of 13-7, but Dickson says the team is not focused on last season’s matchup.
“No matter who you’re playing, each year is a new year. If you can hit, and you can pitch, and you can play defense, generally, you’re going to win that game,” Dickson said.
Cabrini is now 0-2 on the year after losing their first two games to Montclair State University, 9-2 and 11-2, respectively. Marks, however, says the team needs to put out their best effort, regardless of who they play.
“It doesn’t matter who we play. I expect that against any team that we’ll do a good job offensively and that we’ll get runs for our pitchers and the pitchers will do the rest of the work,” Marks said.
Anticipation is building for the team to get back on the field as it has been over a year since their last game. As a result, Dickson is expecting his team to be energized and ready to play.
“I hope there will be energy and excitement out of our players to get back playing again and I’m sure they’re going to be excited,” Dickson said.
Using that energy to get off to a hot start is something that the team would like to accomplish. And with a shortened season, Marks has placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of every game.
“I think in any season starting off 1-0 rather than 0-1 is huge and definitely gets the morale up. But again, especially in a season where it’s shortened, there’s not much room for error within games,” Marks said. “We have to win every game we go out there and play.”
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