Small College Sports

Coe's Zach Kammin works his way back from Tommy John surgery to pitch again

Kohawks pound rival Cornell, 14-2

Zach Kammin
Zach Kammin

MOUNT VERNON — Zach Kammin had stayed away from injury most of his baseball career.

But, his first start of last season changed all that good fortune. Kammin’s debut as Coe’s expected ace fell short and resulted in Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

The junior stepped to the mound and threw a scoreless inning of relief to close Coe’s 14-2 victory over Cornell in a Bremner Cup Series contest Thursday night at Ash Park. Kammin has made three appearances in the last week, retiring all nine batters he has faced after more than a year away from competition.

“It’s huge,” Kammin said. “Baseball is my life. It has been since I’ve been young.

“It was a long journey.”

Kammin suffered the injury on a road trip last March. He held off on surgery until May, wanting to avoid any disruption in his schoolwork. He was in a cast for more than two weeks after the procedure and switched to a mobility brace the remainder of his rehab. Kammin didn’t throw a baseball until January when he returned to campus from winter break.

“The injury caught me off guard,” Kammin said. “I was ready to take it on. The worst part was just waiting for the surgery.

“Those two months were hard, but now that I’m back it’s amazing.”

The elbow is holding up just fine, so far. He might even be better than a year ago.

“It feels great,” Kammin said. “I feel a lot stronger now than I did before (the surgery).”

Kammin made his return against Buena Vista last Saturday, working an inning. He followed that with an inning of relief against Wartburg on Tuesday. Kammin admitted to butterflies when he stepped on the mound for the Beavers.

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“It was nerve-racking,” Kammin said. “I had a lot of adrenaline. Parents and players were standing. This means a lot and it was really cool for them to give me a standing ovation when I went out there. I threw strikes and felt really good.”

Coe Coach Steve Cook has witnessed Kammin’s perseverance to get back to the mound. He said he was more excited than apprehensive in his first game back, watching him throw in practice to batters. Cook was glad to see Kammin tally two strikeouts and a groundout in the blowout.

“It was good to see him out here again today,” Cook said. “We just want to keep getting him in there for short stints. That’s the role he’s going to have.”

Coe (18-12) dominated the game from the start, scoring at least one run in each of the first six innings. Jordan Kaplan, Grant Henning, Jacob Henry and T.J. Johnson each had two hits for the Kohawks. Kevin DeLaney, Kaplan, Riley Legrand, Henry and Johnson each had two RBIs.

Cornell (13-17) received an RBI double from Matthew Niebuhr and an RBI single from Sage Sutter.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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