TAMPA, Fla. — Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat of coronavirus.
“What we're dealing with right now is so much bigger than baseball,” said Sam Militello, associate head coach at University of Tampa.
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COVID-19 has shutdown baseball on all levels. Former and current players at Tampa still try to pass the time with America’s pastime.
“We kind of treat it like an off-season,” Tampa pitcher Jordan Leasure said. “Keep working out, getting stronger.”
“It's a tight knit group, they're coming out, throwing, working out together. They're just trying to stay busy,” Militello added.
The Spartans are the defending Division II national champions and were the preseason ranked number one team in the nation.
“Every season is like that. We're usually ranked pretty high coming in,” Leasure, the redshirt junior, said. “We have those expectations every year. To see the season end abruptly it kind of hit hard. There's not much we can do about it now. Just keep getting ready for next season.”
Tampa baseball's rich history includes 15 players drafted since 2017. But adding to the disappointment this year, Major League Baseball is considering skipping the amateur draft due to coronavirus.
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“I feel for those guys. They put in hard work to face the draft this year and possibly live their dreams out,” Militello said.
The good news — the NCAA will allow spring student-athletes to regain this lost year of eligibility.
“I was looking forward to possibly getting drafted,” Leasure said. “But another year doesn't hurt at all.”