Ryan freshman pitcher appears OK after line drive to the head

Ryan freshman pitcher Josh Mears is in guarded condition at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital on Saturday after being hit in the head by a line drive.

Mears was pitching for Ryan’s freshman team against Coppell on Friday night when a line drive hit Mears just above his right eye, Ryan head freshman baseball coach Tim Rainey said.

Rob Mears, Josh’s father, said on Saturday his son suffered a fractured right orbital bone and his eye is swollen shut.

“It wasn’t until I walked up on him that I realized how bad it was,” Rob Mears said. “It was bad. He looks like Rocky Balboa after the fight.”

Mears said his son will most likely stay in intensive care at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth at least until Sunday but things should turn out OK.

Guarded condition is somewhere between stable condition and serious condition, according to those at the hospital.

The game was delayed for about 20 minutes in the top of the third inning. Rainey said the paramedics arrived about five minutes after the emergency call was made and a stretcher took Mears off the field and to the hospital.

Rainey said it appeared Mears slightly deflected the ball with his glove before it hit him in the head. However, Rob Mears said he didn’t think the glove deflected the hit because the seams of the baseball is indented under his eye.

“[It was] just a scary situation, all the way around,” Rainey said. “Any time that happens, whatever the injury is, you’re lucky to be able to get up and walk away from it.”

The varsity team was the only one to play at Ryan, while the JV and varsity teams were at Coppell on Friday.

It’s  scary stuff, and it’s something that doesn’t happen very often. In 2007, Mike Coolbaugh was coaching the AA Tulsa Drillers when he was killed by a line drive in the first-base coaches box. 

Based on what Josh’s dad said on Saturday, it seems like everything will be fine from here on out. He was conversing fine today and they took him out of his bed and placed him in a chair. He’ll stay in intensive care at least until Sunday before he gets moved to a room.

We’ll be keeping up with Josh and his condition, and we’ll have more about it in Sunday’s paper.

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