Bay College baseball's international players struggle to get home amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:05 PM EDT
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It's been more than a week since the Bay College baseball season ended, and two of their players, both international students, are trying to find their way home. That hasn't been the easiest task, as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world.

David Ibn Ezra, a left fielder for the Norse had eight hits in 37 at bats in 12 games played for the Norse before the season was cut short. He is now trying to get back home to Tel Aviv, Israel. After a lot of work, Ezra has managed to get a flight.

"I'm actually going to be flying back home in a couple of days, and I'll be continuing online classes from home and try to make the most of it," said Ezra.

Ezra is naturally disappointed the season had to end the way it did, but adds he was glad to have gotten the opportunity to play over here at all.

"It was a short time, but it was a great experience,” said Ezra. “I got to experience new culture, a new place. I met a lot of friends, a lot of people off the baseball team too."

The news is not as good for another of Bay's international students, pitcher Nicholas Goebert, who is from northern Germany.

"I can't really go back home right now, because it's basically filled up with the coronavirus back home,” said Goebert. “Every country surrounding Germany, and Germany itself is already in a bad situation right now. So I can't really go anywhere to be honest."

Like Ezra, Goebert says that he is glad to have even had the opportunity to play here.

"I was welcome with open arms by the sophomores and everybody else, even the freshman,” said Goebert. “It was just an all-around fun experience. I had a bunch of fun with everybody and definitely didn't miss a smile.”

Both players were looking to continue getting better as the season progressed. Goebert had three hits in seven at-bats and made two starts on the mound.

"I thought the hitting went pretty good, the pitching, not as I wish, but I was hoping to figure that out as the season went on,” said Goebert. Unfortunately the season got canceled, but oh well, there's going to be a next season, hopefully."

The NJCAA, in its announcement to cancel the season said that students will regain that year of eligibility, and Norse coach Mike Pankow said that both would be ‘welcomed back with open arms’ should they want to come back to Bay.

The Norse had three other international students on the team this season. Infielder Ernesto Gomez from the Dominican Republic was able to get a flight home Wednesday morning. Canadian pitchers Scotty Adams and Shaw Bowser were both able to drive back across the border into Ontario before the border was closed.

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