Delta State red-shirt junior Jake Barlow was just getting his swing back.

Louisiana-Monroe senior Andrew Beesley was anxious to get back on the field after missing two home games against Ole Miss.

And then their worlds changed.

Barlow, who is hitting .237, had a three-game hitting streak going before the Statesmen had to cease play due to the Coronavirus.

Barlow had three doubles and hit two home runs. He walked four times.

"I started out slow. but I changed some things and was starting to figure it out," Barlow said. "I was starting to feel really good at the plate."

In it's final game this season, Delta State defeated Arkansas-Monticello 10-5 on March 11 as Barlow went 2-for-5 with an RBI single. The win improved the Statesmen to 13-10 on the season.

Barlow said he’s heard all kinds of rumors and stories about NCAA plans.

"I'm hearing seniors will get another year of eligibility," he said. "I would certainly come back for sure. Right now I'm taking on-line classes."

Barlow said he felt the Delta State baseball team, with several new players, was also just coming around.

"We were starting to gel," he said. "We have a very talented team. I don't know what this means for next year. It is a weird situation."

As a sophomore at Delta State last year, Barlow hit .322, earning 2019 ABCA, D2CCA, NCBWA First Team South Region honors. He also was first team All-Gulf South and earned a Gulf South and NCBWA South Region Player of the Week honor.

Delta State went 42-14 last year an 20-9 in Gulf South play.

Barlow said he feels sorry for high school seniors having their seasons cut short.

"Especially those who are not going anywhere," he said. "Hopefully they will get to play some in the summer."

Barlow is home in Monterey and continuing to work out on his own.

"I'm just trying to stay safe and do everything we are asked to do," he said.

Beesley with hitting .400 and earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors before injuring his foot sliding into second base against McNeese State, pulling the anterior talofibular ligament in his ankle on Saturday, March 7.

He missed the Sunday game against McNeese and was listed as doubtful for a two-game series with Ole Miss, which ended up being ULM's last games because of the virus.

Beesley, who earned Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team recognition before the season, had four doubles, one triple and a home run. He had drawn 13 walks, striking out only five times.

ULM head coach Michael Federico did ask Beesley to put his cleats on during the 6-3 loss to Ole Miss on Mach 10.

"He told me to lace up because he may need me to hit in the seventh inning," Beesley said. "I was ready to go. He told me to get a hit and then they would get someone to run for me when I got to first base. He told me if I hit a grounder, not to run it out."

Beesley was not used as a pinch-hitter, forcing him to miss the Ole Miss series completely.

"That was tough, but conference was coming up and that was the main thing I needed to focus on," Beesley said.

ULM's home series with Sun Belt foe Arkansas State that weekend was eventually cancelled. As was the rest of the season.

"That was tough, but there are more important things going on," Beesley said. "It was tough the first couple of days, but with this virus going around I knew that everyone really needed to stay safe."

Beesley was second-team All-Sun Belt as a utility player last year, hitting .329 on the season. He had 11 doubles, one triple and three home runs, scoring 38 runs, driving in 37, walking 28 times and only striking out 23 times.

Beesley made starts at first base, left field, right field and as a designated hitter.

Beesley came to ULM after a sophomore season at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Ms., where he was named MVP of team, hitting .476 with eight home runs for the Eagles. As a freshman he hit .385 with a home run.

Beesley earned MVP honors at Cathedral in 2016, leading the Green Wave to a 24-5 record. 

As a junior, Beesley was named Most Valuable Hitter with a .476 batting average for the 25-4 state champion Green Wave team.

Beesley said if senior college baseball players are given the option to return for another senior year, he does not believe right now he would return.

"I was going into this year believing this would be my final senior year," Beesley said. "I am expecting to be working next year. That's a decision I may have to make down the road."

The Warhawks were playing some of their best baseball, winning five of six  before the Ole Miss series.

"We were really playing well and getting everything together," Beesley said. "But it's just another piece of adversity to get through."Beesley made starts at first base, left field, right field and as a designated hitter.

Beesley came to ULM after a sophomore season at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Ms., where he was named MVP of team, hitting .476 with eight home runs for the Eagles. As a freshman he hit .385 with a home run.

Beesley earned MVP honors at Cathedral in 2016, leading the Green Wave to a 24-5 record. As a junior, Beesley was named Most Valuable Hitter with a .476 batting average for the 25-4 state champion Green Wave team.

Beesley said if senior college baseball players are given the option to return for another senior year, he does not believe right now he would return.

"I was going into this year believing this would be my final senior year," Beesley said. "I am expecting to be working next year. That's a decision I may have to make down the road."

The Warhawks were playing some of their best baseball, winning five of six  before the Ole Miss series.

"We were really playing well and getting everything together," Beesley said. "But it's just another piece of adversity to get through."

 

  

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