Eye of the Tiger - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Eye of the Tiger

By Coleman Swierc - bio | email

LATEXO, TEXAS (KLTV) - Austin Roberts remembers the pitch like it was yesterday.

"I was standing in there, and I thought it was a curveball," said Roberts, "By the time I realized it was a fastball, it hit me, and knocked me out."

What happened after, is still a blur.

"I stumbled around, then the coaches and umpire had to catch me when I fell," said Roberts.

"I heard it hit him," said Latexo head coach Curtis Chiles, "And when it did, it was like instant panic and fear, I have never seen anyone hit in the head like that."

"I was scared," said Austin's brother Josh, who plays shortstop for Latexo, "It did not seem bad at all, until I got there and his eye was completely swollen up."

Roberts was taken to an area hospital, the intense swelling under his eye, got worse, before he headed to Tyler to see a facial specialist.

"They told me I had broken the bones around my eye, and around my cheek, basically the whole left side of my face."

The doctors told him 10 weeks of healing time, Roberts couldn't wait that long, less than three weeks later, he was back in the box.

"I just stood there and watch the first pitch," recalled Austin, "It was tough, and I was scared, I won't lie, it was tough, but I just hung in there."

"I would not have been upset if he would have bailed on the first inside pitch," said Chiles, "But he hung in there, and has gone a great job since he has been back."

He admits it's still painful, and his face shows very little of what could have been, but that won't keep Austin Roberts...out of the box

"I am lucky, so lucky it did not do something worse."

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