A catcher for the Woodstock River Bandits was hospitalized after passing in and out of consciousness as a result of an injury from a foul ball during a Monday night game in Strasburg.
Officials say the injured player, Austin Bates, is recovering.
Bates, an Eastern Florida State College student visiting from Cortlandt Manor, New York, was struck in the neck by a foul ball during the second inning of the Bandits’ game against the Strasburg Express, said Paul “Jay” Neal Jr., vice president of the Valley Baseball League and president of the Express.
The batted ball hit Bates on the right side, where his neck meets his chest, River Bandits Coach Porky Bowman confirmed on Tuesday.
“It was a little scary there to begin with,” Bowman said.
Bates was taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital but released later that night, Neal said.
Bowman said Bates planned to sit out Tuesday night’s game against the Winchester Royals, but he expected his starting catcher to return soon.
“Typical warrior,” Bowman joked. “He’s fine.”
The foul ball hit Bates in a nerve that Neal said if struck can cause a person to pass out.
Initially Bates seemed to brush off the injury, telling people he was fine.
“He was a little disoriented and he was just a little bit out of it for a minute,” Bowman said.
After the hit, Bates caught the ball an umpire tossed to him and threw it back to the pitcher. Then he caught another pitch before he fell to his knees. Neal recalled Bowman encouraging Bates to lie on the ground, where he passed out.
After regaining consciousness, Bates was taken to the dugout. There he briefly passed out again.
A trainer medic was on site along with a member of the Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad. They cared for Bates until an ambulance arrived and took him to the emergency room in Woodstock.
“It was a scary moment for a little bit,” Bowman said, “but so far everything’s good.”
The Express won 4-0.