The UHV baseball team will spend the weekend in New Orleans.

But the Jaguars won’t be hanging out on Bourbon Street.

The Jaguars will be going from the hotel to Segnette Field to open the season against Loyola University.

The teams will play doubleheaders at 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.

“As long as we’re following all the rules, it’s not really going to affect us,” said senior catcher Maxwell Sheldon. “Traveling is traveling. The bus ride is going to be the bus ride and the hotel is going to be the hotel. We’ve got to wear masks. As long as we get to play, we’ll be happy.”

The Jaguars have had to follow a protocol that began with COVID-19 testing Tuesday, daily screening Wednesday and again before they boarded the team bus Thursday.

They will eat box breakfasts and lunches, and will have temperature checks when they arrive at the field.

In addition, UHV coach Terry Puhl is not allowing his players to fraternize with the other team.

“We’ve got our guys who want to play,” Sheldon said. “It is crunch time now. We’ve got to work with what we have whether it’s injuries or COVID. We’ll play with what we have. We’ve got a good group and I’m happy.”

The Jaguars went through live scrimmages this week at Riverside Stadium to prepare for the weekend.

“Is there ever an easy time to start?,” Puhl asked. “At some point, you’ve got to say, ‘Let’s get it done and go do it.’ These guys are young men and they’re excited about playing.”

Puhl plans to go with two starters and most likely, two relievers per game.

The starting rotation will include Victoria West graduate Clayton Wenske and Edna graduate Dylan Yaws.

“What can really hurt is if one guy goes out there and can’t find the plate,” Puhl said. “I tell all of my starters that I’m going to be happy with you if you give me three innings. I’m going to really like you if you give me four. I’m going to be really disappointed if you give me two.”

The Jaguars realize there are no guarantees, but are looking forward to getting back on the field.

“Our hope is just to finish the season,” Sheldon said. “Get through one weekend at a time and hopefully, win some ballgames. As long as we’re staying safe and being able to play that’s our biggest goal.”

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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