11-year-old boy hit in the head by pitch


It was a very scary moment for everyone watching the Tara Hills pony league game because the initial reports from the hospital were not encouraging.

"His mother just called me and said that they asked if he recognized his parents, they were standing there and he didn't really recognize them, and they were getting ready to do a cat scan," says coach Larry Gomez.

Gomez is the uncle and coach of the boy who was struck in the head while at bat.

"He got hit right here. The whole jar hit him in the head," says Gomez.

"Oh, gosh it hurts. I was holding back tears, trying not to cry. I didn't want him to be scared. He looked scared," says Samuel's mother Lawanda Rayfield.

The game was immediately called after Samuel went down. Matthew Thompkins, who was playing third base, saw his pitcher release the ball.

When asked how fast the pitcher threw the ball, Thompkins says "Around 60 miles per hour."

It was a high curve ball headed straight toward Samuel's face.

"He turned, but it hit him in his face. Like it hit his helmet and the ball rolled over to his face, but he fell on the ground and hit his head," says Thompkins.

"Me and another coach got to him right away. We rolled him over and he was crying, hyperventilating. He was conscious and everything was okay," says Gomez.

"He forgot a lot of things, but he was conscious," says Thompkins.

And that was enough for paramedics to call an air ambulance and rush him to Children's Hospital Oakland.

This comes one month after Marin Catholic High School pitcher Gunnar Sanberg was struck in the head by a line drive.

"Yes, we heard about that kid in Marin. That's why everybody jumped all over it," says Gomez.

Sandberg, 16, was in a coma for about two weeks. He is slowly recovering, but his head injury heightened the awareness of baseball parents across the nation.

Rayfield finally recognized his parents on Monday night and his CT Scan is good.

The difference in these recent baseball injuries is Sandberg was hit by a line drive, Sammy was hit by a pitch. Regardless, even with a helmet on, the impact put the little boy in the hospital.

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