HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – The wait is over. Baseball is back in the Sunflower State.
“It’s good to be back out here,” said Wichita State pitcher Aaron Haase.
With their season set to open on Monday, the Hutchinson Monarchs have been conducting practices at Hobart-Detter Field, the home to Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragon Baseball since the start of June.
“The energy from the young men is higher than ever. They haven’t played the game they love since March,” said Monarchs GM/Owner Marc Blackim.
Players are returning to the diamond for the first time since college seasons and championships nationwide were canceled in March due to COVID-19 concerns.
“For them to finally get out as a team — even though it’s not their college team — they’re out with a bunch of teammates,” said Monarchs GM/Owner Marc Blackim. “The energy’s good. They’re excited and they’re ready to get going.”
The Monarchs feature a total of nine Division I players from Wichita State, Sam Houston State and Iowa.
“It’s been a great mix,” said Blackim. “Having more DI players with us this summer — it’s only going to help the league be very competitive, probably more competitive than its ever been.”
Nearly 60 DI players are participating in the SCL this season.
“You get some of these younger players and guys that are at the junior college level, they see what it’s like, and what it takes at the next level to get it done and have that opportunity,” said Blackim.