Senior infielder, coach Penders reflect on baseball season prior to COVID-19 cancellation

With+concerns+of+COVID-19+spreading%2C+all+spring+sports+have+been+canceled+for+the+remainder+of+the+year.+St.+Edward%27s+baseball+finished+with+a+.500+record+of+11-11.

Nina Martinez / Hilltop Views

With concerns of COVID-19 spreading, all spring sports have been canceled for the remainder of the year. St. Edward's baseball finished with a .500 record of 11-11.

Any team, regardless of the sport, will face adversity at some point as athletes battle through long and strenuous seasons. Perseverance and continual hard work are two key qualities successful teams show among hardship. The St. Edward’s University baseball team has shown they won’t go down without a fight, grabbing two huge wins over ranked Angelo State after a tough start to the season.

Following last year’s 27-27 record, the Hilltoppers were ready to build off of a neutral season, grabbing their first win against Lubbock Christian Feb. 2. Although it is still the beginning of the season, key player, Senior infielder Ty Markee envisions a Lone Star Conference Championship to cap off his senior year campaign. 

“My goal is to win a championship. However, I believe in carrying vision into everything I do,” Markee said. “Therefore, I have team-goals for practice, goals for games, goals for at-bats. It takes doing the little things right every single day and never walking onto that field without purpose.” 

Following the huge wins, Markee received Lone Star Conference Hitter of the Week after hitting a .429 with three doubles and four RBIs, an accomplishment he felt he couldn’t take all the credit for. 

“I am very honored, and it makes me feel good about my swing,” Markee said. “However, I can hardly take credit for my performance last weekend. Every time I came up to the plate it seemed I was in a position to score some runners, and that is only possible because my teammates were doing everything they could to get on base.” 

The two much-needed wins set the tone for the remainder of the Hilltopper’s season, proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with against any team. Like Markee, head coach Rob Penders feels this will propel them into their stride. 

“Just as in past seasons, teams must overcome adversity daily in competition and practice. Our guys were getting better at that aspect continually,” Penders said. “That’s why you saw the results that we had in the last weekend we played. Beating the number one team in the country is not easy to do, especially doing it more than once.”

Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers were not able to prepare for their next game against Texas A&M International because the remainder of their season was canceled due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. However, Penders has set an important goal for his players of getting it done in the classroom.

“Our goals are usually the same every year, and that is to compete for a championship. Our first goal is to win the conference and qualify for a regional appearance,” Penders said. “Obviously that is not possible this season, so we have refocused on getting the best team GPA we’ve ever had.”

The Hilltoppers ended their shortened season with an 11-11 overall record.