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Poplarville baseball player loses back to back seasons

Jon Babiowski had finally recovered from surgery to return to the Poplarville Hornets baseball team only for this season to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loss of his junior year due to the pandemic came on the back of missing out on his sophomore year due to injury and has left the junior with just one more season to prove his worth to college programs.

Babiowski said he got some varsity playing time as a freshman, but as a sophomore he earned himself a spot on the varsity squad with the potential of pitching numerous innings.

However, after just a couple of games the pitcher’s arm started bothering him.

A bone spur diagnosis left Babiowski on medication to try and deal with the injury, but it nevertheless prevented him from seeing the field.

Over the summer and start of his junior year, Babiowski worked to increase his arm strength and regain his health.

Instead, the junior felt continued discomfort in his throwing arm, which eventually led to the surgery in December 2019.

“It was a risk, but I kind of thought the surgery would really help and my doctor a was good guy. I had a lot of confidence,” Babiowski said.

Recovery included resistance band training along with other exercises focused on rebuilding the pitcher’s arm strength.

The junior had finally worked his way back onto the field only for the pandemic to cancel his second to last season.

“It was disappointing, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s all part of a plan. Now I’ve got one last ride to show them what I can do,” Babiowski said.

Pitching against players in a competitive environment compared to pitching at home doesn’t provide the same level of excitement or opportunity for the pitcher.

Still, Babiowski is using the time at home to continue to build his arm back to 100 percent in hopes of competing in his senior year.

“I’m working really hard. I keep throwing a lot and I just have to work hard. With the time lost, you can’t wait and let it come to you, you have to go after it,” Babiowski said.

There are still opportunities available to the pitcher with a full senior season ahead of him, but he knows he wouldn’t be in this situation without the help of others.

Friends, teammates, coaches and family have all been there to support Babiowski during this difficult time.

“They played a great role. My coaches were always concerned and were excited when I got my arm fixed. With my family, the surgery wasn’t cheap, but we worked to get it done. I’m really excited to have my arm fixed and able to throw at 100 percent,” Babiowski said.