Midway through his at-bat in the first inning, C.J. Cron fouled a ball to left field and appeared to injure his right knee in the process. Paramedics had to come out to attend to him, putting an aircast on his right knee before waiting for an ambulance to arrive. He was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Tomorrow Cron will see the team doctor to assess what, if any, rehabilitation is necessary.
The loss of Cron could be detrimental to the Owls offense going forward. Cron leads the Pioneer League in home runs, RBI, and home runs per at-bat. He is also third in slugging percentage and fifth in total bases, and is responsible for one third of all of the Owlz home runs this season.
As a team, the Owlz are solid at hitting, having the top three average hitters in the league including Jarod Yakubik, who is second in batting average and on-base percentage. The real question will be where the power will come from. ,
“I don’t think one guy will replace him,” Owlz manager Tom Kotchman said. “But we played the first couple of weeks without him, so we know we can do it.”
The likely candidates for filling the hole left by Cron will be Taylor Lindsey and Frazier Hall. Lindsey is second in the league in hits, doubles, extra base hits, and total bases, while Hall is second in slugging percentage.
After Cron went down the Owlz went on to win in exciting fashion as an 11th inning single to left by Brandon Brewer lifted them to a 3-2 victory over the Raptors.
“I have been working on getting back to basics,” said Brandon after the game, “I have been getting underneath the ball so I’ve been working on hitting line drives and ground balls.”
That work paid off as he hit a line drive up the left field line to score Ricky Pacione from second base to end Sunday nights game.
“Brandon has been working on his game and it came out right there,” Kotchman said. “I’m glad to see his hard work pay off.”
Pitchers Nick Maronde, Bryant George, Aaron Tullo, and Nicholas Mutz combined for eleven innings, thirteen strike outs, three walks, allowing just two runs.
“You can’t just single one guy out,” Kotchman said. “The whole game it’s tied or a one run game.”
Josh Keil can be reached at [email protected]