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Outfielder returns from concussion as Jaguars fall to Generals (w/video)

By MIKE FORMAN
April 18, 2014 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2014 at 11:18 p.m.

UHV pitcher Andrew Walker reacts to the umpire's call at home plate with the runner safe during the Jaguars' 14-7 loss to LSU-Alexandria on Friday afternoon at Riverside Stadium.

FRIDAY

• LSU-Alexandria 14, UHV 7

• LSU-Alexandria at UHV (2), noon

Ryan Pearsall remembers leading off second base and seeing the St. Edward's pitcher turn around and throw to the bag.

The rest of the details are difficult for Pearsall to recall.

"I dove back into second," Persall said. "My helmet flew off and the shortstop's knee drove into the back of my head and the front of my head slammed into the dirt. I was laying there for a little while."

Pearsall suffered a concussion in UHV's 5-3 loss to the Hilltoppers on March 19 at Riverside Stadium.

The injury sidelined the sophomore from Cedar Park for almost two months before he finally returned to the lineup in the Jaguars' 14-7 loss to LSU-Alexandria on Friday at Riverside Stadium.

"It's been too long," Pearsall said. "It was a lot longer than expected. It ended up being eight weeks and I thought it would be three."

Pearsall started in center field and had nine put outs, including an over-the-shoulder catch to prevent an extra-base hit in the second inning.

He also went 1 for 4 at the plate, with a single in his third at-bat.

"It felt good," Pearsall said. "It definitely felt good. Everything was hopefully back to where it should be."

Pearsall occasionally has headaches and other symptoms from the concussion, but has progressively gotten better.

"It still comes and goes," Pearsall said. "It's to that point that now I can bear with it. I can keep playing and not have issues."

Pearsall received clearance from UHV trainer Thomas Pribyl to begin practicing about a week ago and made rapid progress.

"Thomas told me I could start throwing the ball," Pearsall said. "I felt good. I knew if I could throw I would be all right. You have to concentrate and it would be just as easy as anything else."

UHV coach Terry Puhl was happy to have Pearsall back in the lineup.

"It's been a long time," Puhl said. "We missed him out in center field. He made some nice plays out there. He got good jumps on the ball.

"He actually swung the bat not bad," Puhl added. 'He's a very welcome addition. To have him back is a real plus."

Puhl was not pleased with much else he saw against LSU-Alexandria, an Association of Independent Institutions foe.

The Generals (28-18) had a pair of five-run innings and led 8-0 before Kyle Bludau hit a two-run home run in the bottom of third - the Schulenburg graduate's first homer at UHV.

"The pitching was not there," Puhl said. "The defense was not there early. You can't let them put up numbers like that. It was a decent comeback, we almost got back in the game. But you can't do things like that."

The 14 runs scored by LSUA equaled the most the Jaguars (19-24) have given up this season and the most they have surrendered in a loss.

"It can be," Puhl replied when asked if seeding in the upcoming conference tournament is important. "Every team that's going to be there is going to be a quality team. It's not going to change the way I set up our pitching staff."

The teams return to Riverside Stadium to close out the series Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Pearsall plans to be in the lineup and hopes to remain there for the rest of the season.

"That was the biggest thing for me," he said. "I said, 'I'll take it slow as they want as long as I can be with the team in Boston.' That was my goal."

NOTES

•  Ryan Suescun went 2 for 4 to raise his career hit total to 200. Suescun holds the school record for career hits.

• Robert Zaragoza led UHV with three hits and Joshua Boothe had two.

• UHV must win its six remaining games to avoid finishing the regular season with a losing record for the third straight year.

• Seniors Suescun, Brandon Bohanon, Cory Carter, Cory Hulsey and Stephen Shorkey will be recognized between games of Saturday's doubleheader.

LSU-Alexandria 14, UHV 7

LSUA 305 100 500 - 14 11 2

UHV 002 003 200 - 7 12 3

Corey Thomas, Phillip Ingraffia (6), Mark Taylor (6), Stefan Porche (8) and Brandon Samson. Andrew Walker, Cody Carver (4), Cory Hulsey (7), Colton Cowart (8) and Brandon Bohanon, Matthew Herrera (4). W: Thomas (4-0). L: Walker (2-2). Highlights: (LSUA) Bond Babin 1 for 4, 3B, R, 3 RBIs; Michael Collado 3 for 5, 3B, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBIs; Seth Montz 2 for 4, R, RBI, SB; Adam Michel 1 for 3, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBIs. (UHV) Robert Zaragoza 3 for 5, 2B, R; Joshua Boothe 2 for 5, 2 2Bs, R, 2 RBIs; Ryan Suescun 2 for 4, SB; Kyle Bludau 1 for 4, 2-run HR. Records: LSUA 28-18; UHV 19-24.

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