Mercer Baseball team stays connected off the field


Photo courtesy Mercer Athletics

The 2019-2020 Mercer baseball team had most of their season canceled due to COVID-19.

While sports teams across the country and world have lost their seasons to COVID-19, that isn’t stopping the Mercer Baseball Team from staying connected as a team while apart. 

For Luke Sutko, a junior majoring in business management and a sidearm pitcher for the team, the season being canceled was a harsh reality. 

“To have the majority of the season stolen from me is definitely one of the more challenging things I’ve had to overcome,” he said.

For Sutko, missing baseball is more than a loss of the game.

“What I miss the most about baseball is seeing my teammates,” he said

The men on the baseball team are more than just teammates.

“You spend countless hours every day on and off the field with your team, they actually feel like they are your brothers,” Sutko said.

Despite not physically being close, the men are able to stay connected and they know they will see each other soon.

“Majority of the team is coming back for next year so we are all very motivated to push each other every day to get better,” Sutko said.

According to Sutko the team also jokes around on their group chat. 

However, just like with schoolwork, changes have been made to adapt to life at home.

“Coach Ward is doing a great job by sending us workout packets to keep us in shape and to continue working out,” he said.

Head coach Craig Gibson was also shocked and disappointed by the loss of the season.  

“These guys it’s sort of more than just a game,” Gibson said. 

For most of the men on Mercer’s team, playing baseball means year round daily workouts including lifting weights. In addition, many play baseball in the summer.

“The day we announced we weren’t playing I think we had 13 or 14 guys sitting here crying, didn’t know what to do,” Gibson said. 

While one coach makes sure to send at-home workouts to the team, Gibson said the coaches are staying focused primarily on the athletes’ academics.

“We probably reach out once or twice a week to all the guys about academics just trying to, you know, stay on top of everything,” he said. 

Gibson knows baseball will still be there after this semester. 

“I want them to make the best grades they can, and my philosophy is we’ll catch them up on sport because we missed our spring.”