Petaluma 12-year-old pitcher hit by line drive


"A straight shot right off the bat right to his forehead," said Troy Matteri, a volunteer.

Parents and players recalled the scene on this field last week when 12-year-old Petaluma Little League pitcher Brendan O'Neill was smacked in the head with a line drive.

Brendan was taken to Children's Hospital Oakland with multiple fractures to his forehead and a broken nose, but never lost consciousness. He was stabilized and transferred to Kaiser Oakland where he underwent surgery for six hours.

"Reconstructing the sinus cavity and frontal lobe area, had to go in and put pieces back together like a big puzzle. It's pretty intensive surgery," said John Barrister, a family friend.

Barrister has been texting with the boy's father as have other parents.

"As time is going on, everybody is mentally healing out there. There's good news. He's getting better every day that goes by, he's getting better," said Matteri.

The Petaluma Little League Board of Directors will meet on Thursday. Some of the players are trying out protective head gear for pitchers and there is talk of moving back the pitcher's mound or even switching to wood bats. But for now there's just relief that Brendan will soon be back at home base in Petaluma.

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