Heat Takes Its Toll: Even Most In Shape Have Trouble Coping

It's the third day of off-season baseball drills for the Tyler Junior College Apaches.   Coach Jon Groth wants to push his kids.

"Sometimes you think you can handle it. Some of these kids have a big ego, and sometimes they want to fight through some of that."

The words he gives his players are about the fundamentals. Even in off-season, baseball players always want to be in top form. But the searing heat makes even the most in-shape athlete at risk.

"I'm anxious to push them to see how good a shape they're in, or how bad shape they're in, but I've also have got to be wise in how I do that," he says.

These players know their limits and they take precautions, but yesterday that wasn't enough. On Tuesday, some of them got into trouble.

A player fell victim to the heat, in the blink of an eye. He was sent to the hospital.

"He had what we call a full body cramps where the muscles in entire body begin to cramp up," says athletic trainer Justin Ortiz.

After a trip to two IVs, that player is OK, but other players also were overstressed by the heat.  The tell-tale symptoms don't hit until the situation's turning serious.

Player Cody Taylor knows what the beginning stages of heat exhaustion feels like: "You start getting a little light-headed and a little tingly, and it really is bad when you start working out really hard. It's a part of baseball you've got to work through it."

But how hard is too hard for an athlete, much less you and me?

Coach Groth isn't taken any chances: "I'm like any other coach, I want to challenge my guys, but I really have had to back that down by half because of the temperature."

Today, he allowed them a rare liberty. They got to wear shorts.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com