*UPDATE: Everyone’s Out. State will play with 9 position players and four pitchers.
Rumors started trickling out early this morning (along with a big Vegas odds swing) about COVID issues within State baseball team. For now, it’s believed J.T. Jarrett has tested positive for COVID and removed completely from the team. He was not present for team batting and fielding prior to today’s game. Also sounding like at the very least, Evan Justice will be held out of today’s game for quarantine due to contact tracing. State and all CWS teams are tested every other day since arriving in Omaha.
What Happens Now?
Jarrett has struggled to find his groove in Omaha, going one for six with two walks. That said, he’s played every game this season and holds a 99% fielding percentage. The keystone to State’s nationally ranked defense is no more. Avent could go a couple different ways for replacing Jarrett. Tyler McDonough has second base experience and freshman Carson Falsken (although extremely limited playing time) was a gold glover out of high school.
Justice has been the man in the closer role for this second half resurgence. In his four Super Regional and CWS appearances; 9.1 innings, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 Ks. In those apparences he was also credited with 1 win and 3 saves. Most likely Villaman would fill in that role, especially considering that today he’d pitch the remainder of wherever Willadsen gets to. Crucial loss though for a State club that already lacked relief pitching depth.
We’ll wait to hear official word from State on who else might be held out.
State’s game against Vanderbilt starts at 2pm today.