Elite outfielder goes down

College : : Story
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Georgia Southern All-American outfielder and elite MLB draft prospect Victor Roache likely will miss a significant portion of the 2012 campaign, perhaps even the entire season, because of a broken bone around his wrist, sustained Saturday against Radford.

In the second inning of the Eagles’ contest against Radford, Roache was attempting to make a terrific play diving forward with his glove hand leading the way. Roache’s hand and arm hit the turf in an awkward position, the result feeling obvious.

“When you see an injury like that … it’s really just a sinking feeling,” Georgia Southern coach Rodney Hennon said. “All we know at this point is that it’s a fracture in an area around his wrist.”

Following the injury, Roache was taken to East Georgia Regional Hospital for x-rays on his glove hand and arm.

Georgia Southern expects to soon send out a release with the full details of Roache’s injury. However, all details were not available as of Saturday night. Hennon added that Roache would have surgery to repair the fracture early next week.

“We’re not real sure on the full details or a specific timeline for his return, but we’ll keep everyone posted,” he said. “He’s a great, great kid, and he’s in it for the team, and is ready to start rehabbing so he can get well. He’s a guy who will do everything it takes to get back on the field.”

The injury to Roache sounds all too familiar to the situation with South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., last season. Bradley, Jr., severely injured his wrist early last season, leaving the Gamecocks with an offensive void. He returned very late in the campaign, and still managed to be a first-round supplemental pick to the Red Sox.

Still, Roache’s injury is terrible news for the Eagles. He was off to another terrific start this season, already hitting .412 with two home runs and five RBIs. As a sophomore last season, he batted .326 with 10 doubles, two triples, 30 home runs and 84 RBIs, before blossoming even more last summer at the Cape Cod League.

Time will tell if Roache remains a slam-dunk first-round pick in the upcoming MLB draft. Entering the 2012 campaign, he was ranked the No. 13 overall draft prospect, while also being ranked the No. 6 prospect at the Cape Cod League last summer.

For now, the Eagles, who are ranked No. 32 in the Perfect Game College Top 50 and are 5-1 on the season, hope to continue experiencing success, while also hoping for Roache’s speedy recovery.

“I’m really proud of this team. When the injury occurred, they were pretty deflated,” Hennon said. “It was really nice to see our team respond with two wins today.”

Stay tuned to Perfect Game for more on Roache and Georgia Southern.

Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at kendall@perfectgame.org

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