He lost parts of his front teeth and his team lost both games of a doubleheader, but Matthew Kley of Anchorage still had a smile on his face.
The Wenatchee Valley College third baseman took a shot to the face from the helmet of a Yakima Valley baserunner attempting to steal a base in Game 2 of the NWAC doubleheader in Yakima, Washington.
“My catcher threw the ball a little to the left of the bag and the runner slid head first right into my mouth,” Kley told me. “But still got the runner out.”
He laughed it off and stayed in the game.
After all, he’s from Alaska.
“I told my coach not to laugh when I got up and showed him, although the team thought it was pretty funny when I lost the teeth,” he said.
Kley, a former pitcher for the Alaska Baseball Academy and of South Post 4 fame, finished 3-for-7 in the doubleheader to raise his batting average to .265 in 11 games.
“I thought I played well after it because I figured I lost my teeth so I had nothing else to lose,” he said. “And probably played better because of that.”
Kley has base hits in six of his next eight games, including the last four.
Take away the 0-of-9 start in his first three college games, and the freshman is batting .440 on the year.
Credit: Van Williams