WEST POINT — It didn’t take long for Oak Hill student Drew Wright to realize something was wrong.
On the opening kickoff of Oak Hill’s second game of the season last September, Wright sprinted down the field. His leg twisted awkwardly in a non-contact injury and the pain that ensued was immense. Wright was told he tore his ACL, ending his football season.
He worried his baseball season may be in jeopardy too.
But after months of vigorous rehab, Wright, a pitcher and an outfielder, got back on a pitcher’s mound in January and resumed baseball activities.
“It was a setback, but that’s what made the process even more rewarding,” Wright said.
Although he hasn’t played this season at 100 percent, Wright has pitched seven innings for the Raiders, in which he has struck out seven batters while also walking seven. As a hitter, he’s delivered a .315 batting average.
“He’s been a testament to how hard somebody should work,” Oak Hill coach Mitch Bohon said. “He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve had. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
In the last month, Blue Mountain College, an NAIA school in Blue Mountain, Mississippi, took notice of Wright’s dedication and recruited him to play baseball at the next level. Wright said he visited the college a few weeks ago and decided to commit to Blue Mountain College and made the decision official Monday by inking his National Letter of Intent.
“It’s great to come back from an injury like that and play in the amount of time I did,” Wright said. “It wasn’t looking too hot from me at the start but to be back with my teammates was pretty rewarding.”
Wright is being recruited as a pitcher, but Bohon said he will have the opportunity to be a two-way player down the road if the opportunity presents itself. The senior standout relies on a four-seam fastball that tops out at 86 miles per hour and uses a slider to keep hitters off balance. At the collegiate level he hopes to develop a changeup.
“Very athletic player,” Bohon said. “He’s extremely raw, his best baseball is ahead of him and he has a chance to be an upper velocity guy because he works really hard. Coming off a torn ACL, and really in three months he got back on the mound. He’s still not 100 percent so it’s been hard for us to really use him the way we wanted to. But he’s got a bright future ahead.”
In the meantime, Wright still has a prep season to finish. The Raiders begin the second round of the Class 3A MAIS playoffs Tuesday, with their new college signee focused on a lofty goal.
“I’m not one to really stay complacent,” Wright said. “I’m not satisfied with a lot of things so I’m ready to get out there and do a job and go to state.”