When Wichita State junior Garett Kocis went down with a broken bone in his wrist on April 10, there was some concern that he would miss the rest of the season. But this past Friday, Kocis made his return after being out over a month.
In Kocis’ first game action this weekend, he went 0-8 at the plate but drove in two runs in the three games he played.
“It feels awesome,” Kocis said. “Injuries kind of teach you how to enjoy the moment and just take it one day at a time and just be grateful to be able to put this uniform on our chest. It’s a pleasure to go out there and play and I’m not going to take it for granted.”
Kocis said that early on when the injury occurred that there were talks of him having to miss the rest of the season, but ultimately the coaching staff felt he was ready to return.
“Initially the numbers that were thrown out were 12-18 weeks which would’ve been through the season but I’ve been able to battle through it and the training staff has done a great job,” Kocis said. “I’m out there and I’m able to play and that’s all that matters.”
Head Coach Eric Wedge said that with all the time that Kocis missed with the injury, it will take him time to find rhythm at the plate.
“He’s been hungry to get back for a long time, it’s unfortunate that he had that injury but he’s powered through it. He’s worked hard with the training staff and doctors also the coaches and he got to the point where we’re able to get him in there a little bit. It’s going to take him some time to get back on track but he’s really worked hard in this month that he’s been out and we’re happy to see him back in there.”
In Kocis’ absence, the Shockers went 7-10 and dropping to as low as fifth place in the American Athletic Conference standings.
Kocis said it was hard to watch from the sidelines while his team went through those struggles.
“I was able to travel with the team and still be a part of the team even though I wasn’t playing. It was tough to go through that struggle but I don’t think it was because of me. I’m just grateful to be back out there.”
For the season, Kocis has a .306 batting average and still leads the team with 10 home runs. Kocis also has the third-most RBIs on the team with 39.
Kocis and the Shockers will wrap up the regular season with their final season coming against Memphis. The series will start on Thursday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.