San Luis Obispo Blues pitcher Ben Kirke was recovering at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center on Tuesday after suffering a fractured skull during a game Monday night.
Kirke, a 19-year-old sophomore pitcher at Grand Canyon University, was throwing in the second inning of a game against the Santa Barbara Foresters when a line-drive hit by a Foresters' batter struck him above his right eye, according to SLO Blues pitching coach Ed Gravell.
"It was just one of those things you never want to see," Gravell said. "When it does happen, it's very sobering."
Kirke was taken to French Hospital Medical Center before being transported to Sierra Vista for emergency surgery. Doctors diagnosed Kirke with a fractured skull, Gravell said.
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Gravell visited Kirke in the hospital on Tuesday afternoon and said he is resting, in good spirits and hoping for a full recovery. His parents flew in on Tuesday morning from Scottsdale, Arizona, his hometown, to be with him.
According to Gravell, Kirke suffered a similar injury earlier this year while playing with Grand Canyon when he was hit in the face just below his right eye by a thrown ball.