OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s been a crazy year to say the least, for everyone all around the world. While we all try to get back to normal, athletes such as the baseball team at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh try to instill the comradery and chemistry they had to leave behind when the pandemic caused their seasons to come to a screeching halt.
“It’s definitely been kind of hard to work all offseason and last year and getting ready to play games and then getting shut down after six games,” Titans infielder Hunter Straniske said. “To kind of have that same energy and bring it over to this year, with such a long layoff is kind of hard, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job.”
The Titans made the NCAA tournament for the first time in ten years in 2018. They thought they had a good shot to make it again in 2019 too.
“It took us four years to build up, so we built it up and we got there in 2018 and I thought we had a really really good chance in 19, but unfortunately we had two major arm injuries on our pitching staff,” head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said.
Then 2020 rolls around, and six games into the season, the pandemic shuts everything down.
“It was somewhat of a bummer because it felt like we just started to get rolling and then it’s just cut when our season got cut so we’re just trying to get that back,” pitcher Will Michalski said.
The Titans are 6-4 overall on the season so far and 4-0 in conference play. The players are just overjoyed to be back on the field, and happy to actually be able to play at home this season. The baseball field has been under construction for most of the past two years.
“I’m a senior and I think I’ve pitched at our field maybe 2 times?,” Michalski said with a chuckle. “I’m going to be interested to see what it’s like actually having a full season of playing baseball at our home field, a field that we know, a field that we play on, so you’re right, it is an advantage, hopefully we can get those games in and we’ll see how it goes.”