Suffering a baserunning injury before throwing his first pitch of the season is hardly how Geneva pitcher Jordan Touro envisioned his senior season unfolding.
Touro, a South Alabama recruit and three-year stalwart in Geneva's starting rotation, was summoned to pinch-run for catcher Steffen Graham during Friday's season opener at Jacksonville.
The maneuver almost turned disastrous after what Touro called "just a freak accident."
After a pitch in the dirt, Touro took off for second base. When he slid into the base, his hand jammed into the shortstop's leg, leaving the middle finger of his left hand dislocated at close to a 45 degree angle, facing toward his pinkie.
"When it happened, I was in shock," Touro said. "I looked at it and was hoping it was dislocated. When we went to the hospital. … They said it was dislocated, which made me happier. At least it wasn't my right hand and it wasn't broken or anything, but yeah, it freaked me out at first."
Touro said he wanted no part of having the finger snapped back into place on the spot.
Touro had a follow-up doctor's appointment on Monday, and was cleared to play, though he is expecting plenty of pain, initially, when he slides his left hand into the mitt. In the meantime, his plan is to continue moving and icing the finger.
Andy Honiotes, the co-ace of Geneva's staff, was the starting pitcher on Friday. Touro was supposed to start Saturday's game against Danville.
The Vikings went 2-1 on their Jacksonville trip, with the host Crimsons handing Geneva a 9-6 loss Friday before the Vikings knocked off Danville and Buffalo Grove on Saturday.
Burlington Central was scheduled to leave Monday morning for a southern Illinois, spring break road trip – three varsity games and two JV games, beginning Monday in Centralia – but a snowy forecast prompted coach Kyle Nelson and the Rockets to call off the trip Saturday afternoon.
"We saw the initial forecast was for about five to eight inches," Nelson said. "We're pretty lucky [we didn't go]. It turns out they got about twice that."
Clear-cut as the decision was, Nelson still feels badly about scrapping the annual trip, "especially for our seniors," he said.
"They worked hard," Nelson said. "They had to raise money, too, so it's kind of a bummer for them. They don't have another shot to go."
Nelson said the fundraising money will now likely go toward field improvements.
The Rockets now hope to open the season Thursday at Hinsdale South or Saturday at Grayslake Central.
St. Charles North, meanwhile, followed through with its trip to Marion, though snow in southern Illinois is altering the week's slate of games at Rent One Park.
Kaneland is still hoping to make a downstate trip that would begin with a game against a Missouri opponent on Wednesday at GCS Ballpark in Sauget but, as of Monday night, the trip was iffy.
Knights coach Brian Aversa said he should know by this afternoon whether the Wednesday game will take place, which would likely tip the scale on whether the overall trip would be worthwhile.
The Knights are also supposed to play games Thursday, Friday and Saturday but Kaneland likely would have to find new opponents for a couple of the days based on other schools canceling trips, Aversa said.
IN THE GROOVE
Dan Berendt, Geneva, Sr., OF
What he did: Berendt went 4 for 4 with three doubles on Saturday to power the Vikings to a 15-1 win against Buffalo Grove in Jacksonville.
Tony Landi, Geneva, Sr., P
What he did: Landi was dominant in his first start of the season, pitching five innings of one-hit ball in a 15-1 win against Buffalo Grove on Saturday. He struck out six and walked none.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Postponements have been the storyline of the first couple weeks of the baseball season, with the first consistent stretch of weather warmer than 40 degrees on tap in the coming days.
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
How Geneva and Marmion stack up early in the season.
The teams are supposed to play Thursday in Aurora in the first matchup of two local teams on the young season.
COACH SLY SAYS
Let's face it, there are going to be a lot of athletes who would rather be doing anything but playing baseball (or softball or soccer or running track) on a 45-degree day.
Sly's always been impressed by the kids who bring their A game, or something close to it, on those chilly days when you can't feel your extremities.
You don't have to be a middle linebacker to show you're tough. Fighting off an inside fastball on a cold, April day, and lining the next pitch into the gap shows the same thing.