Stoulil returns to the Packer lineup after battling illnessPublished 9:38pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
For eight straight games all Austin senior baseball player Marcus Stoulil could do was check his phone for updates or watch his teammates play the game he loved.
Stoulil was sidelined with an illness and wasn’t sure he was ever going to get back on the field before the season came to an end. Stoulil finally hit his low point last week.
“There was a point in the middle of last week where I questioned (whether I would be back),” Stoulil said. “It was a kind of a downer because this is my last high school sport and I was really bummed for a little bit. Then I started feeling better.”
Stoulil made an appearance in the Austin dugout in street clothes Tuesday against Rochester John Marshall and then he made his return to the Packers when he trotted back to his usual outfield position and batted fifth in the order in Thursday’s 3-2 win against Winona. Stoulil, who looked a few pounds lighter, made an impact as he knocked in a run with groundout in the first inning, but he’s far from being where he wants to be as a player.
“It was great to be back out with the team and be part of the win. But I’ve got some work to do. The legs are a little dead and the bat’s a little heavy,” Stoulil said. “(Sitting out) was tough. You look at it and you think what could I have done to help the team if I was a part of it? I wasn’t going to do any good playing sick, so I just had to sit back and get better.”
Stoulil is hoping to use the next four games to get in shape so he’ll be back to full strength for the postseason, which begins May 23.
Austin sophomore Nik Gasner said having Stoulil back on the lineup was a big boost for the squad.
“He’s a great player and we definitely missed him,” Gasner said. “ We kept ourselves together (when he was gone), but now that we’ve got him back we’re complete and we’ve got all that we need to make a run.”
Rocky Hulne is the sports editor of the Austin Daily Herald. You can follow him on twitter @Rocky HulneADH.