Reno High’s Cummings slowly, but surely coming along
RENO — It’s been 15 months since Darrick Cummings was the pitcher Nevada coach Gary Powers envisioned as the next Darrell Rasner, another Northern Nevada stud who did big things for the Wolf Pack.
But all that was put on hold when the 2001 Reno High graduate threw a curve ball on Jan. 3, 2002 and heard a snap in his elbow. A month later, Cummings underwent Tommy John surgery Feb. 1, forcing him to redshirt and miss the entire 2002 season.
This season, though, Cummings has made two bullpen appearances for Nevada, his second coming in a 14-4 loss to Sacramento State on Tuesday at Peccole Park.
“It’s getting there,” Cummings said. “I’m being patient, though. I’m taking advantage of my opportunities. I’m right where I’m scheduled to be. I started rehab the next day after surgery.”
Cummings pitched 1 1/3 innings against the Hornets and didn’t allow a hit or a run but walked one batter. In 2 1/3 innings this season, he’s only given up one hit while keeping a perfect 0.00 ERA. Cumming’s isn’t throwing as hard as he did when he was with the Huskies but everyone in the program feels like his velocity will return eventually.
“Darrick’s locating pitches right now,” said coach Gary Powers. “He’s just going to need more time. It’s not something you bounce back with in a short amount of time.”
A player typically needs two years to fully recover from Tommy John surgery. Cummings, though, is optimistic he can get back his old self sooner than that. After all, he went to the best doctor in the world to perform the surgery, doctor James Andrews. Based out of Birmingham, Ala., Andrews did the exact same surgery on the Atlanta Braves’ John Smoltz and has also worked with the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. Former Galena High star Billy Paganetti, a close friend of Cummings, recommended Andrews after himself being a patient of his.
Cummings said he feels sore after throwing prolonged bullpen but realizes it’s all part of the process. It’s one that Powers would like to see end next season.
DICKERSON SUFFERS CONCUSSION
Junior outfielder Chris Dickerson suffered a concussion in the first inning. Dickerson was chasing after a ball hit by Tim Reimer when he slipped on the warning track and slammed into the left-center field wall. He lay motionless for about five minutes before getting up and playing the rest of the inning. However, Nevada’s trainer didn’t allow him to return to action. His status for this weekend’s series against San Jose State remains unclear.
HAYES’ STREAK ENDS
Freshman catcher Brett Hayes’ 19-game hitting streak ended on Tuesday against Sacramento State. Hayes, who leads the team in hitting with a .377 average, went 0-for-4 against the Hornets. His last hitless game was on Feb. 23 in a 5-2 loss to Cal-State Fullerton.
HORNET HITTER’S STREAK CONTINUES
Sacramento State’s Jesse Schmidt hit safely for the 18th consecutive game against the Wolf Pack. He went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
SAC STATE OFF TO GOOD START
With Tuesday’s win, the Hornets improved to 20-15. Sacramento State hasn’t had such a good record since 1993, when it started that season 20-14.