COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Falcons set for final home weekend

The UTPB baseball team has one final series on its regular-season schedule.

The Falcons will host St. Edward’s starting with a doubleheader at noon Friday followed by a 1 p.m. matchup Saturday at Roden Field. The series was rescheduled after winter storms forced a postponement back in February.

“This series is still important for St. Ed’s for playoff seeding and for us to play in case we do get in to the playoffs,” head coach Brian Reinke said during a virtual press conference Monday. “There’s a lot of moving parts here and we’re just trying to make sure that we continue to do things the right way.

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, St. Edward’s is eighth in the Lone Star Conference standings and UTPB is ninth.

However, two of those teams ahead of them — St. Mary’s and Arkansas Fort Smith — had a series canceled this past weekend due to COVID-19 protocols.

Texas A&M-Kingsville also had its scheduled series against West Texas A&M called off back on April 20. The Javelinas did return to play this past weekend against Eastern New Mexico,

With the uncertainty that everyone has had to deal, Reinke credited his team for being diligent and making the best of the circumstances.

“Honestly, I think we’ve been really good at adapting and overcoming any issues,” he said.

The final series presents an opportunity for the seniors to be recognized for their contributions. Reinke added that the team is planning to lose some players to graduation and other potential transfers.

He added that he’s seen the challenges those that are leaving after this season have gone through.

“I feel for them and I couldn’t imagine going through this as a player,” Reinke said. “My heart goes out to them because they’ve had the last two years of their college baseball career filled with turmoil and really long Q-tips up their nose.

“I think they’ll look back on it in five years and can be proud of what they had to go through to actually play and bankroll two seasons into one.”

>> CUT SHORT: The Falcons are looking to rebound after being swept by No. 11 Angelo State over the weekend. The second game finished up in some unusual circumstances after it was rained out Saturday in the fourth inning.

Reinke added that it was a tough break for UTPB starter Trever Berg and the Falcons went on to lose 5-0 and were held to just one hit.

“It was unfortunate because Trever was pitching very well,” Reinke said. “He was nowhere near a pitch count and probably would have gone another two or three innings.”

>> STEPPING UP: Reinke also complemented the play of catcher Cole Dickie. The Midland High graduate had one of his best days at the plate Sunday, finishing with two doubles and a home run in the series finale. He bumped his batting average to a season-best .294 with 11 runs batted in and a pair of home runs.

Dickie has also held down the majority of catching duties due to a combination of injuries and players leaving the team.

“I can’t say enough about what he’s done,” Reinke said. “It doesn’t matter what we ask him to do. He’s going to do it. We’ve been in this situation before where we were down to basically one-plus catcher and it takes a toll on their body.

“Without him, we would have been in serious jeopardy this spring.”

>> WASHED OUT: The UTPB men’s tennis team saw its season come to an end before getting a chance to take the court after the Lone Star Conference Championships in Waco were canceled due to weather.

The Falcons entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and were scheduled to play No. 5 seed Dallas Baptist in the opening round. Cameron, who entered the tournament as the top seed, earned the conference’s automatic bid to the South Central regional.

UTPB finished the season 6-10 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

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