Tuesday, May 27, 2008

McElroy hopes to return to lineup

Could Friday be the day? Brad McElroy sure hopes so.

McElroy, a senior outfielder for the Charlotte 49ers who earned third team All-American honors last season, was chugging along this year on another award-winning pace when he suffered an ankle injury while trying to outrun Fordham's pitcher to first base during the 49ers' 10-0 loss to the Rams on May 2. He hasn't played since.

"I hit a ball between first and second and I was trying to beat out the pitcher to the bag and I lunged at the bag, which you aren't supposed to do. I missed it and my foot just rolled right over, McElroy said. "I thought I broke it but it turned out I sprained it. It's been very frustrating, but we're winning so that's awesome. I've been pulling my hair out every game wanting to get in there and play."

He hopes to return to Charlotte's lineup for its opener in the 2008 NCAA baseball tournament Friday against South Carolina in Raleigh.

"I'm using ice four to five times a day, stretches, doing balance work, trying to get my strength back," he said.

The 49ers have gone 11-1 since he left the lineup, including a three-game sweep to their second consecutive Atlantic 10 tournament championship. Make no mistake, coach Loren Hibbs would like him back.

"I'm patting our guys on the back because there have been a collection of guys who have really stepped in and played fantastic to replace McElroy. Our senior pitchers, (B.J.) Hagen and (Luke) Stahl, have been fantastic the past few weeks," Hibbs said.

"We're better when he is in the lineup - everyone understands that. If he can play, we have a better chance to win. If he can't play, we'll continue to try to find ways to be successful."


Anonymous said...

At 100%, this is a great addition at this time of year!!!

Let's go Niners!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope he can play and play at his level of expectations. I know we will face a very fired up Gamecock club. The pitcher, Sam Dyson, they expect to throw is a flame-thrower.