As a baseball player, spring break is one of the most enjoyable times of the season. You don’t have to worry about school, you’re in the warm weather and you’re with thirty-five of your best friends.
This spring break would be especially important because we were playing some good opponents such as #25 Illinois, West Virginia, Coastal Carolina and Indiana. This would be our chance to make a statement to the college baseball nation.
After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to undefeated Illinois, we had a second shot to give them their first loss. We were down 1-0 in the bottom of the 8th inning.
We scratched across a run to tie the game at 1. I came to bat with the bases loaded and one out. It was my chance to get the big game winning hit. I was in the zone.
Coach Maloney called for a suicide squeeze from the third base coaching box. The runner broke from third as the pitcher began to throw. I showed bunt and did all I could to get the bunt down.
It was a tough pitch, but I made contact… foul. The only issue was the ball made a direct hit to my thumb. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had shattered my left thumb.
The adrenaline was pumping and I wanted to come through for my team. I stepped back in the box. The next pitch was a passed ball and we scored the game winning run! It was a huge win for us to knock off an undefeated, nationally ranked team!
Although it felt good to win, my spring break was over. It is devastating not being able to play after all the work you have put in. I had to leave my teammates and fly back to Muncie to have surgery.
Injuries are inevitable, but every time the emotional pain of not playing outweighs the physical pain. That is the tough side of sports.
All I can do for my team now is cheer them on and pray for a quick recovery. This won’t define my season.