Terry Dugdale was looking forward to helping pitch the Souhegan High School baseball deep into the Division II playoffs this season.
But that plan ended a little more than a month ago, when the senior felt something snap in the elbow of his throwing arm. Now, Dugdale is doing whatever he can for the No. 13 Sabers (8-8), who will try upset No. 4 Goffstown (14-3) in a preliminary round game at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Dugdale, who had signed to continue pitching at the University of Albany next year, was on the mound on May 9 as Souhegan took on Portsmouth. He was pitching well and felt all right, but one throw put an end to his career as a high school pitcher.
“My arm felt good and I tried to throw a curve ball,” Dugdale said. “Out of nowhere, I felt a snap. I knew it was bad. I tried to throw a couple more, but I had nothing in me. It didn’t hurt, but I knew something was wrong.”
A year ago, Dugdale was forced to stop pitching mid-season because he had stretch out the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. This time, he’d tore it completely.
“I was pretty bummed at first, but the amount of support I got from coaches, family and friends has been unbelievable,” he said. “I figured I could be depressed about it or have a positive attitude. That outlook will help me in the future, so I’ve tried to have a positive attitude about it.”
Dugdale called the coaches at Albany the same day, and they all agreed he would redshirt next season while rehabbing the elbow.
“They’re confident in me, so they want to hold on to me,” he said. “I’ll have that fifth year to come back and play if I want to.”
While he can’t play in the field, Dugdale has been able to do other things. At first, he was just pinch running, but he’s filled in as the designated hitter at times this season as well. When the season is done, he’ll need Tommy John surgery.
“They have a great rehab center across the street,” he said of when he leaves for school, “so I’ll be starting my rehab as a soon as I get to Albany.”