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Big 12 Tournament Q&A: Eli Davis, Kansas

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When Kansas’ bench cleared on James Cosentino’s smash deep to the right-field wall that gave the Jayhawks a wild 15-14 win over Kansas State at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Thursday afternoon, Eli Davis had to stay in the dugout.

Earlier this month, the former Shawnee standout was pitching against Texas when a Longhorns batter lined a pitch back up the middle, breaking Davis’ rib and lacerating his spleen.

After the game, Davis talked to The Oklahoman about his recovery, Thursday’s game and his plans for the summer.

Q: What was it like to experience the ending of this game?

A: "Most definitely the craziest game that I’ve ever been a part of. Just the ups and downs — that’s kind of how the season’s gone really though. The main thing we preach is, ‘Hawks pick up ’Hawks.' The closer goes out there and gives up some runs. but we got dudes that can swing it like that. I had to stay close to the dugout though. I couldn’t go out there. It’s pretty tough because I just wanted to be out there dogpiling with them."

How are you feeling?

"Getting better. I get to start playing catch in about a week and a half and then I get to start light jogging and then I’ll be able to get back on the mound around July 4. I’m going to the Cape (Cod League) about July 15 for about 18 days, hopefully get a few starts and come back and get some more experience."

How tough is it going through this after missing all the time with the Tommy John surgery the last couple years?

"That’s kind of just how life’s going. It’s really just taking it day by day so that when I can get back out there, I can make the best of it."

Your injury happened in the first inning and you pitched four innings. What were those next three innings like?

"Terrible. It was really scary. When I got hit they were just telling me about everything. 'If your shoulder starts hurting, that’s when we’ve got to take you to the hospital because that’s when we know it’s your spleen.' So I started to get worried. In the second inning, my shoulder started hurting, but it wasn’t that bad. I thought I’d be fine. Then once the fourth inning came around, the pain reminded me of when I broke my collarbone a few years back. It felt the exact same. I just couldn’t move it."

Was it tough to balance wanting to fight through it vs. the severity of this injury?

"It was really scary because I’ve never had the breath knocked out of me before, because I never played football or anything like that. I couldn’t breath. It was unreal. I was going to do it until I can’t. That’s just kind of how I am."

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