BY ETHAN BOOE
After an abrupt end to the 2020 season, FHSU Head Baseball Coach Jerod Goodale and his players are excited to open the new season this weekend at Colorado School of Mines.
Opening day for FHSU is set for Thursday in Golden, Colorado after last weekend’s games in Golden were postponed due to extremely cold temperatures. The Tigers and Orediggers rescheduled for one game on Thursday before FHSU’s weekend series with MSU Denver.
COVID protocols have made it challenging to prepare for the season, but Goodale is happy with how the team has dealt with everything.
“I think that’s a testament to our guys and the type of guys we have,” Goodale said. “I couldn’t ask any more from a group of guys on how well they’ve been able to handle it, not only physically but the mental side.”
Junior outfielder, Jace Armstrong said the pandemic has forced the team to become more cohesive.
“There have been many instances where the mental toughness of the team has been tested, and I think we have overcome those obstacles fairly easily,” Armstrong said.”
The COVID protocols haven’t deterred the Tigers from their goals this season.
Not everyone was able to play summer ball,” said Junior Pitcher Jacob Douglas. “And we didn’t get to play any of the junior colleges in the fall like we usually do. I just think everyone is really excited and I think that’s just going to help us out a lot come the first couple games of the season.”
Preparation for the 2021 season hasn’t been very easy, but the Tigers are making the best out of their situation.
“We have had many times where it would have been easy to give up. That is something I think will benefit us during games and during the heart of our season when things may get tough,” Armstrong said.
Even though FHSU only played eight conference games last season, they firmly believe they possess the tools needed to have success in the MIAA.
Douglas said the group of guys on this year’s team are some of his favorites to play with, just as it was last season.
“I know everyone on the team knows we are capable of doing something in the MIAA and making a run at being in the top 4 like we always say we want to get to,” he said.
Goodale knows they have something special going for them.
“I’m very optimistic,” Goodale said, “I’ve done this long enough that I feel like we have a lot of the ingredients that you need to be a really good team.”
The Tigers have a four-game series at MSU Denver this weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday. The team will open conference play in Hays against Pittsburg State on Saturday, February 27.