Full Throttle With or Without COVID-19
Already having 16 players committed, Coach Mike McInerney is well on his way to having a full team in time for the fall. Baseball is coming back to EOU and Coach Mike McInerney is the head coach. This is his recruiting year, and with COVID-19, things have changed. No one could have prepared for a virus to control our lives to this extent though Coach McInerney has not taken a break from his day-to-day work with players and working towards next year’s season.
His recruiting has only changed in the matter of not being able to do a huge trip to see more players in Arizona and California. Instead, he is using his resources of trusted coaches and videos to help him know the players’ ability that are contacting him. Coach McInerney is communicating with his committed players through calls about once a week to check in. For the players that have not committed yet, he is emailing and using other ways to contact them.
The changes in eligibility for players has positively affected the recruiting possibilities for Eastern Oregon University Baseball. Players across the country that have been affected by their season being cut short due to the coronavirus have been giving an extra year of eligibility. So most senior players are coming back to play another year, and junior college players are staying at the junior colleges another year. This means most teams are going to be so impacted with players that there will be teams of upwards to 60 or more players. Since Eastern’s baseball is just forming, this impact will not affect the numbers of the team. Players are thinking of coming to Eastern because they will not have a huge team but rather 30 to 40 players.This means that players have a better chance at getting playing time on EOU’s team compared to other teams. This is a draw for baseball players looking for schools to commit to.
Coach McInerney’s day-to-day is working through what workouts in the fall will look like, how he wants his practices to look, looking through emails from players, writing out a possible summer workout, and making sure everything is as clear and ready to go for the first day of practice in September. “There is no day off when recruiting,” proclaimed McInerney. COVID-19 has only affected his ability to travel, not his ability to prepare for the coming season.