Update on ECU Pitcher Chris Holba who was struck by a ball in the face last year at Schroeder Park

Looks like he’s doing well

The 2015 graduate of O’Fallon High School, a junior right-hander on the East Carolina University baseball team in Greenville, N.C., is 8-0 with a 1.52 ERA in nine starts.

Last week, USA Baseball included Holba on its 40-man midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award is presented annually to the top amateur player in the country.

The news was particularly gratifying after what happened April 7, 2017. That’s when Holba, pitching against the Houston Cougars, received the scare of his life. A second-inning line drive off the bat of Jake Scheiner fractured the orbital bone above Holba’s right eye.

“I had to spend the night in the hospital, flew back with the team and got surgery,” Holba recalled this week. "They ended up putting three plates and a bunch of screws in there, and I missed a month to two months of the season.

“I wasn’t supposed to come back that season, but I was able to convince the doctors to let me wear kind of like a protective shield; I think they use it in some softball games. It looked dumb, but I just wore it over my hat and was able to pitch with that.”