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Bad break; Mitchell loses SS Conner Hale for four weeks

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Tue. April 20, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

Mitchell's baseball team received some bad news last week.

Conner Hale, the Mustangs' starting shortstop, is out for four weeks with a hairline fracture in his right (throwing) wrist. He suffered the injury in a 13-7 loss to Zephyrhills last week after a pitch hit him in the wrist.

Mitchell coach Scot Wilcox said the injury will force Hale to miss the district tournament unless Hale gets medical clearance to play as a courtesy runner.

"I'm not going to put him out there if it's a risk to his injury," Wilcox said. "Unfortunately, it happened to our best hitter."

And one of the Mustangs' top base runners and fielders, as well.

Hale led Mitchell with 27 runs scored. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder batted .410 with 34 hits in 83 at-bats. He had 11 RBIs, eight doubles, one triple and two home runs. He also pitched in five games with 23 strikeouts and a 2.75 ERA with 20.1 innings pitched.

Mitchell is the No. 3 seed in the Class 4A, District 7 tournament in Dade City next week. The Mustangs will play No. 6 Gulf at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Wilcox said Joe Koehler will fill the hole at shortstop, but even that move will cause a trickle down effect to the roster. 

"It spreads us a little thin," Wilcox said. "It's amazing how one injury can affect the whole roster."

In terms of Hale's long-term prospect of a return this season?

"To get him back, it would be a good sign because we made it past district," Wilcox said. "Even once he gets cleared I wouldn't want to put him out there unless he feels like he can throw and hit."

igould@tampabay.com

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