By Danielle Achin
Framingham State’s spring season is in full swing and seniors Bobby Higgins and Andrew Caulfield are more than ready to run the bases once again.
Last year, the team’s season was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving the men only playing four games total.
“Our 2020 season being canceled was devastating for me and my team,” Higgins said. “It was something that’s never happened before, and the first spring I wasn’t playing baseball since I was 4.”
“We put so much hard work in and were beginning our season on a good note. We were crushed and in shock,” said Caulfield.
Higgins is from Barnstable and he began T-ball around 5 years old and never stopped.
“It’s always been my favorite thing to do,” Higgins said. “My dad has been a role model of mine since I started playing sports. He was a stud athlete and has taught me a lot over the years.”
Higgins ended his 2020 season with 5 putouts, a .462 batting average, and a homerun.
Caulfield is from Malden and picked up a bat as early as 3 years old.
“Baseball has been rooted in my family,” Caulfield said. “I would say that I was born into the sport.”
He ended last year’s season with 2 homeruns, 7 strikeouts, and a .250 batting average.
While the fight against the pandemic continues, the men were shocked to hear they would have another year of eligibility to play.
“As bad as it felt to find out we were getting canceled, the excitement to find out I could come back overcame that pain by far,” Higgins said. “It felt like a second life, a second opportunity to live out all that I wanted to happen the previous spring.”
With practice time allowed, the team must follow rules mandating certain restrictions in order to play.
“The practice schedule is the same but we are not all allowed to practice together due to COVID restrictions. So it’s different and weird not being able to be together as a whole team,” Caulfield said.
“Pitchers and position players are split up between the main gym and back gym to limit exposure,” Higgins said. “I definitely miss seeing our team on a daily basis like last year, but right now I’m just happy to finally be playing again.”
It’s been a difficult process adjusting to the new rules that are constantly set in place as people work toward normalcy. Fortunately for the team, Head Coach Sean Callahan has kept the men up in spirits while the new season awaits.
“As an FSU alum himself, he gets us in a way others normally wouldn’t,” Higgins said. “I know I can go to him for anything – even if it isn’t baseball related. He’s just as excited as we are, too.”
Caulfield said, “When our season was canceled, seeing how it affected him as much as it affected us really showed me that he loves us. This team is his baby and he puts all of himself into making sure we become better baseball players and, more importantly, better people.”
The men share their experience of having a season taken from them and being grateful for another chance to play.
“We were all taught the hard way this past spring that nothing is guaranteed, not even baseball. Any day that you get to get on a field or in a cage is a good day and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s the little things that make the biggest impact,” said Higgins.
“We were very confident in our abilities last year. With the new freshmen that came in and all of our returners, I think we are even more confident as a team and we are chomping at the bit to get back on the field together,” Caulfield said. “Look out for the Rams in 2021. We’re going for it all. Don’t be surprised if you’re interviewing us after we raise the MASCAC trophy!”