LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - LeTourneau junior pitcher Kolton Eberlan is at home when he is normally preparing for a game.
Nine games into the 2020 conference campaign, the Yellowjacks had their season cut short due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were scheduled to play McMurry and they got twenty minutes from Longview and turned the bus around because of all the coronavirus stuff going on," Eberlan said. "I guess that is when me and my teammates noticed this coronavirus thing is real. Seeing what happened it is probably good that we stopped playing.”
The season was not gone at that point. Just suspended. It would soon be canceled.
“We had a batting practice scheduled that day,” Head coach Robin Harriss said. “I got the news and called the guys in. It was tough. We were praying for a good outcome for us but seeing what happened in the northeast and with the NCAA giving everyone a year of eligibility back it has lessened it for us. It was still hard.”
Eberlan had a good start for the team. He was 3-1 on the year with a perfect 3-0 conference record. He was recently named the conference player of the week after throwing a complete game shutout.
“He is not an overpowering guy," Harriss said. “He throws multiple pitches for strikes from different angles. He has the ability to strike out guys when he needs to. That is big for us.”
“I felt like things were starting to work out for me and I was starting to gain momentum,” Eberlan said.
In his time at LeTourneau Eberlan has worked his way out of the bullpen and into the role as the pitching ace. With Eberlan coming back and everyone granted another year of playing time, LeTourneau is hopeful they can find themselves back into the conference title like they did last season.
“Even if this hadn’t happened that entire group was going to return next year," Harriss said. "Moving forward we are really excited about our pitching staff.”
“I am still finding time to do push ups, sit ups and run," Eberlan said. "I am still playing catch almost every day but it is a weird situation because I won’t have competitive games until next February. “Hopefully next year some of those guys can come back and do it all again next year so we will be ready to play.”