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Unfinished Business: Beloit’s baseball team discusses sudden end to a stellar 2020 season

  It was an almost perfect start to the season. The Beloit men’s baseball team was living on cloud nine in the weeks before COVID-19 led to mass cancellations, and the season was snatched away before they could even process it. The Beloit College Men’s Baseball team went down to Florida not knowing that they would only get the chance to play nine games in what was a last season for some. 

Even though they only had a short season, they made the most of it by winning eight games in a row to top off an amazing 8-1 Florida trip in mid-March. The biggest win from the Bucs was a 17-0 win over Crown College.

“I felt pretty good,” said Beloit College baseball coach Dave DeGeorge in a video call interview. “8-1 is a great start and eight in a row was really tremendous. Every phase of the game we were great.”

The first day down in Florida was a tough one for the Bucs with a 6-1 loss but after that game, a switch was flipped. 

“I don’t know what happened the first day,” DeGeorge told The Round Table. “Everyone looked sleepy…Everyone was very upset about it because the guys had high expectations. They came back and won two games and then three and then it snowballed for us.” 

The very next day the Bucs bounced back to sweep the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg with the second game being a dominating performance, winning 16-0 in seven innings. 

From that point on it was a downward slope for the Bucs, adding six more wins in a row. 

The team batting average over the course of the nine games was .360 while holding their opponents to only .237 batting average. 

“From the start, our team showed more talent than any other in the tournament. The younger guys fell right into stride with our captains and it was like magic to watch,” said Garrison Ferone’22. 

Over the course of 9 games, the pitching staff only gave up 18 runs, averaging two runs per game. Over the course of 13 innings Connor McCloskey’20 stood out by having a 0.00 ERA. 

“This group of guys was probably the best team I have ever played with and I honestly believe we could’ve beaten any team from any division,” said McCloskey’20. 

Even though only nine games were played, this 2020 team is being considered as one of the best in Beloit College baseball program history. 

It was heartbreaking to see the season come to an end so abruptly, especially for seniors like McCloskey. 

“When I found out the season was over my heart was broken, we had started so well and everyone on the team truly believed we were gonna win it all…It was hard at first because I had my passion taken away from me months earlier than I expected…It still stings, all of the what if’s about the season, but I’m never going to forget this team,” McCloskey added. 

Losing pitchers like McCloskey, Danny Belling’20 and Justin Kopech’20 is going to be a big hit for the Bucs next season so rebuilding the pitching staff is going to have to be Coach DeGeorge’s main priorities. 

The next steps for Beloit’s baseball team is to stay safe, recover, and be ready to pick up right where they left off next season. 

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