Eastern Kentucky University baseball senior pitcher, Jacob Abbott, was shocked when the news was announced that the Ohio Valley Conference would be cancelling all spring competition due to the threat of COVID-19.
“It was a lot of shock and disbelief,” Abbott said. “We saw everything going on in the world and we saw that the SEC had canceled, we saw the PAC-12 had canceled and saw all those conferences cancel so it was only a matter of time before it gets to us.”
Abott said he had hoped that the OVC would not cancel their season, but when more and more conferences around the country started cancelling athletic competitions, then it became a reality for the OVC.
“It hit hard because we started off 12-2,” Abbott said. “We beat LSU and we were rolling pretty well. It sucks for it to end the way it did.”
The Colonels were on an eight game winning streak before the OVC announced the cancellation on March 16.
Abbott credits their strong pitching and hitting for the hot start to the season.
“We were just firing on all cylinders,” he said. “It was really a team effort for all those wins and it was really something special to see us all playing like that and to have it all taken away in the matter of a day right when we were about to go into conference play didn’t feel good.”
Abbott pitched in five games and picked up two saves. The senior from Lexington struck out four batters and allowed three runs and three hits.
There are 12 senior baseball players and Abbott said that ending their final season this way was disappointing and unexpected.
“You never want to play your last game not knowing it’s your last game,” Abbott said.
The last game the Colonels played was against Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights on March 11.
“That’s why the quote is ‘play every game like it’s your last,” Abbott said.
Abbott is a triple major and still has a few classes to take in the fall semester and said that he might come back for another year.
“I still have to come back in the fall so if they lay out a decent plan and I don’t have big job opportunities planned out for the spring then I’m leaning towards coming back,” he said.
Head coach Edwin Thompson hopes to have a lot of the senior class return next season.
The OVC will still have to make a plan and set regulations about how seniors can come back for an extra year.
“That’s the big problem with this. There are so many unknowns. No one knows what is going to happen,” said Abbott.