The Red & Black’s assistant sports editor Austin Roper spoke on the phone with Emerson Hancock, Georgia baseball’s Friday starter, who finished with a team-leading 34 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. Hancock discussed his upcoming decision to stay at Georgia or enter the MLB draft, his new training routine at home and how he’s spending his free time away from baseball.
Austin Roper: How was the adjustment to training at home after the season was canceled?
Emerson Hancock: Very difficult. Whenever I came home, I had to find a place to work out and find a place to throw. Luckily, I do have those spots, and some people have been able to help me out. But it's definitely been an adjustment. You know, you kind of got to wake up, find a new routine, kind of find what fits during the day where you can kind of balance going to work out, going to throw and schoolwork. But over the past couple weeks, I've definitely gotten used to it. And it's been a good adjustment.
Roper: Have you been able to find any positives from the lost season?
Hancock: Yeah, for sure. [The team] would all love to be together, we'd love to be traveling around and playing games in Athens. But the biggest positive that I take away is just kind of having that time to just take a step back and enjoy being home with family. Really focus on schoolwork and finish up the semester well. But, you know ... it's very difficult because you're also away from [coaches and teammates].
Roper: Is there anything you’ve been able to spend more time doing than you typically would in the spring?
Hancock: Well, I was looking forward to playing a lot of golf because at first, it seemed like it could have been fine but ... my dad's kind of kept that under control. I did play golf for a couple of weeks after the season [was canceled]. Lately, I've been going out to the yard and hitting chip shots. Golf is something I love to do. I just find a way to go outside and chip over the pool to kind of simulate a couple holes.
Roper: How has the team stayed in touch since mid-March?
Hancock: We've [talked on] Zoom a couple of Wednesday nights. We even got a chance for Alex Wood to come back and speak to us, which was really cool. I know a lot of the guys enjoyed that. [We’ve been able to] see everybody and have it feel like it used to be.
Roper: Does the canceled season weigh in on your decision when it comes to staying at Georgia or entering the MLB draft?
Hancock: I don't really know. I just kind of wake up and try to get into that routine, take it one day at a time, and just figure out what I need to do for my work required each day. There's certainly a lot of prayers for it. Certainly a lot of praying and thinking about it. And you know, whatever's meant to happen is going to happen.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.