Things were looking good for the Trojan Baseball team. It was March 11, 2020 and they had just defeated Lamar 12-4 in seven innings to continue building toward another Region IX tournament run. The Trojans felt like they were playing well and had a good shot to claim another title, we will never know. COVID ended the season the following day. So TSJC packed up the bats and headed home to prepare for the 2021 season. The long wait is finally over as Trinidad State prepares to take the field on January 28 in Poteau, Oklahoma against Carl Albert State College.
“After being shut down almost a year ago, our guys are eager to get out on the field and compete” commented third year Head Coach Justin Wichert. “We feel confident in our experience of returning players and talent that came in this year.”
The 2020 season, because of the premature ending, did not count as a season of eligibility for the spring athletes, so, with the option to return for another season many of the Trojan sophomores and freshmen returned. This has led to a deep and experienced roster. Catcher Ivan Arce and outfielder Brandon Bagon each hit over .320 with eight home runs in 25 games last season and will return to the middle of the lineup. Cristian Lopez and Kenny Melendez return to the left side of the infield and both had great fall seasons in the box. On the hill Dylan Munroe (2.51 ERA/two saves), Michael Allsup (2.70 ERA), John Hoffman (18 K’s in only 11 innings) and Rolando DeLaCruz (25 strikeouts) return to anchor an improved staff.
“Several of our returners have been here since Assistant Coach (Calvin) Ellis and I came in. They bring a lot experience, have seen the progression and know what we want to build as a program,” said the coach.
A great group of freshmen join the squad this year adding depth to all positions. The play this fall was exciting with some big bats joining the squad. This will especially be important with the change to using metal bats this year.
“We are extremely excited about our freshman. They are a talented group with great character. We are looking forward to watching them and helping to mold them into future Trojans on and off the field.”
TSJC opens their season in Oklahoma this weekend. They will have a long stretch of home games in mid-February before starting Region IX play against Otero on February 27.