After he saw his freshman season cut short this spring, Bishop LeBlond graduate and Truman State University pitcher Jaren Guck can hopefully return to the mound sometime soon.
Pending that their season kicks off as planned on July 1, Guck will join the St. Joseph Mustangs squad this summer.
Opening day has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Guck’s excitement to one day compete at Phil Welch Stadium.
“I mean, St. Joe kid, growing up watching them as a little kid and I’ve always wanted to play for them, so I guess it’s a dream come true,” Guck said.
Guck texted manager Johnny Coy back in November asking if he could play this year, and Coy said he was happy to have him on the team.
“All the coaches I’ve talked to at Truman really like him. They said that he’s improved every single day, he shows up ready to work and they know that he’s going to be a good player. So, it was the perfect opportunity for us,” Coy said.
The two are already well acclimated, too. As a Golden Eagle, Guck competed against Coy and his Benton High School varsity baseball squad.
“I’ve got to coach high school baseball against him, so I knew he was a good player and a hard worker. We kind of built a small relationship over the last couple of years,” Coy said.
Coy added Guck is dependable on and off the field.
“I know I’ll get a 100% effort from him every single time when he’s on the mound, or whether he’s in practice, or whether he’s showing up for any type of meet and greet. I know he’s going to be a kid that shows up and always gives it his all,” Coy said.
Only playing 18 games out of a total of 50 for Truman State before the season ended, Guck was just getting his feet wet pitching as a college baseball player.
“First time I got in, I was pretty nervous but I figured things out. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It’s a lot of fun though. It’s a lot of intensity,” Guck said.
“Some of these guys got a little taste of baseball in the spring but then it was just taken away from them so quickly. They’re just as eager as I am to get back out on the field and hopefully we can make it happen this summer,” Coy said.
Now, the right-handed pitcher has a chance to practice his talents this summer in front of his family, who hasn’t seen Guck in action recently.
“They only got to come out one weekend the entire year because we were always away and we finally had home games and they got to come out for one weekend. They’re finally excited to watch me play some baseball. It’s been like a year for them really,” Guck said.
When the lights shine bright at Phil Welch and the buzz of Mustangs summer baseball surrounds the city once again, Guck can look forward to putting on a show in front of his hometown crowd.
“(I want to) get a good experience out of it, really just try to come away with something that I can expand on my game and what I can do to get better, and as a team, continuing the winning culture of the Mustangs,” Guck said.
The MINK League plans to make a final decision in late May regarding the continuation of the season.