By: Jonathan de Marte, Spider Baseball senior
As my college baseball career has been haunted by numerous injuries and five surgeries that have kept me away from the mound, 2016 has been a year I will never forget. Transitioning from pitching to becoming a hitter again has not been an easy task, but I will never forget my first college start as a position player against St. John’s University on opening day. It was quite ironic because St. John’s was the school I would have attended and pitched at had I not chosen Richmond.
The nerves were at an all time high. I had already drawn a walk in my first plate appearance and made an error in the field, so I knew I had to do everything I could to make the first official at bat an unforgettable one.
In a tie ballgame, I worked the count to three balls, two strikes, fouling off numerous pitches. The lefty from St. John’s hung a change-up, and I hit a line drive up the middle, giving us the lead in a game we went on to win. I know this does not sound like a walk-off home run, or game saving catch, but on opening day, I recorded my first hit in over four years and added another later on in the game.
This day marked an accomplishment of perseverance and commitment to baseball that I will take with me forever.