POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - When sports were suddenly cancelled in March in wake of COVID-19, many athletes didn’t have much of a clue what to do next.
Seventeen Golden Eagles decided to their fix in summer baseball leagues across the country, including the Southeast Collegiate League and Deep South Collegiate League in Mississippi. Ten of those Southern Miss guys stuck around the Magnolia State.
PCS grad Will McGillis joined the league just a week ago, teaming up with fellow USM veteran Gabe Montenegro on “Team Larson.”
Former Southern Miss pitcher Kirk McCarty ended up with three Golden Eagles on his squad – Billy Garrity, Tyler Spring and Hunter Stanley.
Seminary native Fisher Norris is the lone USM guy on “Team Parker,” as is Pearl River Community College transfer Reece Ewing on “Team Garner.”
“Team Crim” boasts another three Golden Eagles – freshman outfielder Reed Trimble, pitcher Drew Boyd and Hinds Community College transfer Garrett Ramsey.
“Baseball players like myself just want to play baseball, just have fun,” Trimble said. “We have conversations, it almost feels like we’re playing for Southern again.”
“It’s probably even more fun to have teammates on the other team,” McGillis said. “Got to hit off Drew Boyd last game, Reed Trimble was on the other team, so it’s a lot of fun talking trash with my teammates.
Summer ball in the Pine Belt has not only provided an outlet for players to see live pitching, but it’s an oasis for those that just love the game.
The Deep South Collegiate League wraps up on Tuesday and Wednesday with playoffs.
“You can go two weeks without seeing live pitching like I did earlier in the summer and just be terrible for a couple games,” Trimble said. “The good reps will come with having fun. You can’t play this game tight and mad at anything because you’re just not going to do good.”
“It’s really pure,” McGillis said. “It’s just baseball. There’s not a lot of outside noise, not a lot of signs from the coaches. It’s just going out, working on your game and having fun. I’ve really enjoyed it a lot.”