Almost three months to the day since former Cardinal Gibbons baseball star Nick Freeberger suffered a broken neck in a car accident, the slugger returned to action with his new school as he led Archbishop Spalding to a 20-7 rout of Loyola Blakefield, in MIAA A Conference ation on Monday.
Freeberger’s baseball career and possibly his life could have come to an end his car hit a rut on the way to school on the morning of January 3. Freeberger was in a neck halo for close to three months, and observers thought that he might miss the entire 2011 season. But on Monday, Freeberger started as the designated hitter for the Cavaliers, and his dramatic return was highlighted by a remarkable day at the plate.
Freeberger whacked three doubles, one off the top of the fence at the 365-foot sign in left-center field at Blakefield, and he drove in four runs and scored three as the Cavaliers blasted the Dons to improve to 3-1 in the conference. The Dons dropped to 1-1 in the loop.
Freeberger had plenty of help at the plate, as the Cavs banged out 23 hits, 11 of which went for extra bases.
Sean Miller had four hits and scored three runs, Austin Clark had two doubles, a triple and three RBI, Phil Kries had a single and a double and three RBI, Ryan Metzler had a single and a triple,
Derek Wells a single and a double, and Earl Potts hit a two-run home run.
Freeberger said that it felt great to be back.
“This was a total team effort,” said the personable slugger. “I was in a halo for three months, and just got it off two weeks ago. It’s great to be back.”
Ryan Wagner went four innings to get the win for the Cavs.
“The wind was blowing in my face all day, and even though I didn’t have my best stuff, I was able to fight through it,” said Wagner.
Loyola’s Greg Battista had a perfect day at the plate, with a singe, double and a triple, and A. J.Lardo had two singles and a triple. Sam Hanke also had a two-run homer for the Dons.
Archbishop Spalding 20, Loyola 7
AS 115 503 5 — 20 23 0
LOY 001 032 x — 7 10 1
Wagner, Grant (5), Grill (6), Alcorn (7) and Barclay; Sheehan, Cariella (4), Stockham (4), McDonough (6) and Brown
2B: AS-Freeberger 3, A. Clark 2, Miller, Kries, Wells, Briener; LOY-Fafaul, Battista.
3B: AS-Metzler; LOY-Lardo, Battista, McDonough.
HR: AS-Potts; LOY-Hanke.