Baseball games canceled due to positive COVID-19 test

Jared Galanti, Senior Reporter

The baseball team was scheduled to play four games this past weekend against Western Oregon University, but a positive COVID-19 test caused those plans to change..

The next four games scheduled for April 23-24 against Northwest Nazarene University are also canceled due to the positive test. 

The Athletics Department put out a statement saying the cancellation of these games “are out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of student athletes and staff.”

Director of Athletics Dennis Francois echoed this statement, saying they are merely following the guidelines that the GNAC conference decided on when they agreed to restart spring sports.

“Our conference has agreed along with our institution to follow NCAA guidelines when it comes to COVID[-19] protocol,” Francois said. “That is essentially what we are doing. Once we receive a positive test within our tier 1 in accordance with the NCAA guidelines and contact tracing is done, we have to make a determination based on the impact on that contact tracing and make a determination of if we have enough players to continue or if it is safe enough to continue.”

Francois said after doing the contact tracing, the Athletic Department determined that the team needed to quarantine for 14 days before resuming action. Once the quarantine is over the team will be able to resume practice and possibly games as scheduled. 

“We are in our conference schedule so we have played our conference knowing this year would be a little bit of this anomaly,” Francois said. “We made sure that we established guidelines in terms of what would be the minimum number of games that a team needs to compete in to qualify for the conference tournament. We established that at 50%.”

Francois said that CWU has hit that 50% threshold of games and that the way the conference will determine the seeding in the tournament will be based on winning percentage. He also said he is hopeful they can resume in time to play their final two series of the season and have a good enough record to make it to the conference tournament. 

Francois said that the main goal of the Athletic Department is to keep student athletes and staff healthy, and the protocols that are in place are doing that.

“Throughout the entire year first and foremost we put the health of our student athletes first and of course our coaching staff as well as our other support staff that are involved with our programs,” Francois said. “This is a situation where we have to rely on that plan and make sure we are looking out for their health and safety first and foremost.”

If all tests come back negative after the 14-day quarantine, the baseball team will resume action on May 7 when they are on the road to take on the Montana State Billings for a four game series.