Missouri State is travelling to Carbondale on April 29 for a four-game set with conference-foe Southern Illinois on April 30 through May 2.
MSU has not played a baseball game since April 18 at Evansville due to positive COVID-19 tests in its tier-one personnel.
The time off has allowed a couple of Bears to work their way back from injuries. Graduate senior outfielder Jack Duffy has not played since April 3 due to a knee injury, but he is healthy again and will be in the lineup against SIU.
Head coach Keith Guttin has been working through back problems and has not taken a road trip with the team since March 30. Guttin will be making the trip with the team this time and said his back is “feeling a little better”.
The Bears said they feel like they were hitting their stride right before this layoff and are eager to take the field again.
“I can definitely tell we have some energy, and we are ready to show up,” graduate senior pitcher Logan Wiley said. “I’m excited to see what we bring this weekend.”
Guttin said pitching is the biggest concern heading into the SIU series following the break from play.
“I think that you haven’t faced hitters in a while, so it may take a little bit of time for the pitchers to get adjusted,” Guttin said.
MSU’s record currently sits at 15-11 (5-3) and are third in the Missouri Valley Conference’s standings. The clubhouse feels that this final month can still bring a lot of success and put the team where it wants to be.
“We picked up some steam and felt like we were playing pretty well before we had the shutdown,” graduate senior first baseman Ben Whetstone said. “I think we all know that if we can play our game and play to the best of our ability that we have a good chance to win the regular season title in the Valley.”
MSU kicks off the series at Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. on April 30.
Follow Trevor Hahn on Twitter, @TrevHahn3
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