Every year, the Shippensburg University baseball team holds its annual Scout Day in which members of the team get to showcase their talents in front of MLB scouts.
However, this year’s Scout Day felt special for team members compared to previous seasons because the event took place during an ongoing pandemic. Months ago, the event was in jeopardy of not occurring due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“The fall has been different, but we appreciate the opportunity to get on the field. Not every PSAC school is able to practice,” head coach Matt Jones said. “Scout Day usually includes a short scrimmage, which we weren’t able to do this year. But the guys showed well, and it was a great day.”
Officials held Scout Day Oct. 14, and players were required to wear masks and social distance when on the field. After having their season shortened to only 18 games in the spring, many members of the team had not seen any competition or felt the pressure of a game-like setting since March. Junior Ben Werkheiser was one of those players.
“It was fun to get back out there and feel a little pressure and anxiousness for the first time in a while,” Werkheiser said. “Over the summer, we didn’t really know when we’d come back to play. So, after getting back and working with the team this fall, Scout Day was the capstone of what we’ve been working toward all this time.”
During the showcase, pitchers threw bullpen sessions while position players participated in fielding drills and batting practice. As a catcher, Werkheiser caught two bullpens and performed some throwing drills from home to second base.
But in the end, Scout Day was a step in the right direction toward the team’s main goal — having a spring season.
“The pandemic has put a lot of anxiety into the world and you never know what’s going to come next,” Werkheiser said. “So, to still have Scout Day was a nice surprise and we’re hoping for another surprise come spring, which would be our season.”