Bulldog baseball to start March 5

Outfielder Jack Darwin prepares for a pitch in a game last season. The baseball team has its first game after a year long break on March 5. Photo by Truman Athletics

The Truman State University baseball season starts March 5 as the team faces off against Lindenwood University in a 4-game series in St. Charles, Missouri. 

Last season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the nation. The Bulldogs began last season 4-14 dropping their last series against Lindenwood University, 0-4. The last game they played was on March 8 against the University of Indianapolis. They won that game 4-3. 

After not playing for almost a year, the Bulldogs are excited to get back onto the field. 

“It’s going to be awesome,” outfielder Brendan Kelly said. “We’ll have a lot of the seniors from last year back so it will be great to give them a full season.” 

Head Coach Dan Davis, in his 14th season with the team, mentioned that, although there are some obstacles that come along with the COVID-19 pandemic, this season shouldn’t be much different than any other year. 

“Everybody else is in the same boat so it’s not like it will be any different for us,” Davis said. “I feel like we have a pretty experienced club … we need to go out and play, and do the best we can. In my opinion, it’s a non-factor for us.”  

Davis said he is excited for the success of the team this season. He said this is one of the most talented teams, in terms of ability and athleticism, he has worked with in his 14 seasons with the team. 

“The biggest strength for this team is on the mound,” Davis said. 

He mentioned that this is one of the strongest offenses he has worked with as well. Although there aren’t many power hitters on the team, they are going to try to play the gaps and use speed to their advantage to put pressure on opposing defenses, Davis said. 

The key for the Bulldogs this season is going to be finding consistency and taking care of the baseball, Davis said.

“Across the board, pitchers need to command the zone, defenders need to make the routine throw and we need to be able to throw it and play catch,” Davis said. “It’s no different than any other year, standard baseball things that need to be worked on everyday.”

Right handed pitcher Ben Fugitt, who has not seen the field in almost two years due to an elbow injury he suffered in 2018, talked about his expectations for himself this season. 

“I’m really just excited to get back onto the field and compete,” Fugitt said. “But my biggest hope for myself is that when I’m out there on the mound I can give my team the best chance to win.”

Fugitt was quick to praise the rest of the pitching staff as well.

“I’m really excited for the [pitching] depth we are going to have this year,” Fugitt said. “This is probably the highest number of quality pitchers we’ve had since I came here. There are a bunch of guys who can compete for us and help us win this year.”

Truman only garnered 31 points in the preseason poll, landing the Bulldogs 8th in the GLVC Green Division. However, the team has expressed confidence that it has the talent and drive to surprise the conference. 

The team’s series at Lindenwood from March 5 to March 7 will be a test of the work the players put in during the off-season as Lindenwood has been selected to win the GLVC Blue Division with 92 points in the preseason poll.