By: Kaylee Darnell
The IU South Bend baseball team was one of the many athletic teams that faced the wrath of the season cancelations due to the pandemic. Their season was stopped abruptly before it even got the chance to really start.
Most players took this as their time off, refueling their bodies and taking that mental and physical break over the summer, whereas returning senior, TJ DeHerrera, got the chance to continue playing throughout the summer on the Great Lakes Resorters, a collegiate summer baseball league.
“I honestly was about to learn a lot of leadership characteristics. I had teammates who were playing at big time schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) so being able to learn from them and play with them and bring back that knowledge to my boys here is just going to make us better,” DeHerrera said.
The team was based in Traverse City, Mich., and the athletes were able to stay in the Great Wolf Lodge hotel.
DeHerrera says he stumbled across a twitter post about the team and decided to send a message to the account including his stats from the previous season, and they gave him the opportunity to come out just two days later.
“Usually coming into the fall, I don’t have an opportunity to see live pitching, but seeing guys who play at big division one and two schools allowed me to kind of get a head start on seeing that pitching. The main difference for me honestly was just the environment. We played in front of 500 to 600 fans there, so it was different because I don’t get that opportunity here in the NAIA. It was all about adjusting, but it was definitely a month I would redo in a heartbeat, it was such a great opportunity,” DeHerrera said.
The team played games every day and would have off days every two weeks. They had morning lifts each day, go into their early work, follow with a pre-game meal and then, start their game at 7 p.m., after the game they would have their post-game meal and get ready to repeat it all the next day.
“My favorite moment would probably be the home run that I hit there and seeing all the little kids run after I hit it. Another favorite would have to be the nights in the hotels with the guys all just hanging out not worrying about baseball but just having a good time,” DeHerrera said.
Baseball season is slowly approaching for IU South Bend while the team engages in daily workouts and practices, as of current situations, the season is set to start in March of 2021.
Any questions regarding the upcoming season or other information on sports, you can go online to https://iusbtitans.com/.