ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Nearly a year later, and opening day for the 2021 college baseball season is just days away.
The Albany State Golden Rams are eager to return to the diamond and reclaim the conference for the first time since 2018.
Before the 2020 season ended due to COVID-19 the Rams showed glimpses of greatness.
The abbreviated season led the NCAA to give seniors the opportunity to return for another season.
And for the Rams, 13 decided to run it back one more time.
In 2018 and 2019 ASU dominated conference play losing just five region games in that span.
Head Coach Scot Hemmings said 25 of its 36 players are upperclassmen, giving Albany State its best shot at returning to the playoffs.
”I believe if we can get back to the ’18 level of play, you’re going to see a championship type ball club. Now, it’s going to be a tough road with Savannah dropping down from Division I and Spring Hill, so we’ve got a long road to home but I truly believe this team saw the results of ’18 and ’19 and they know we have to do that in ’21,” said Hemmings.
ASU enters 2021 with obvious strengths in its experience.
But senior pitcher Michael Reddick said a shortened 2020 season may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Rams.
“Our hitters struggled a little bit, but I think this gave them a second chance to prove themselves and they know they don’t want to let the pitchers down again. I feel like this will give us a chance to start over and really have a good record. We saw our numbers pitching in nonconference in 2020 and a lot of those teams are top teams in the country and we did great against them so I think the conference will still be good to go,” said Reddick.
The Rams hit the road to take on Augusta University Friday at 4:30.