Thursday’s Triple-A game between the Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls was called in the eighth inning and Friday’s game was postponed after Bulls pitcher Tyler Zombro was hit in the head from a line drive in Durham, North Carolina.
Zombro, a 26-year-old helper for the Tampa Bay Rays daughter, appeared to be convulsing on the mound before being lifted off the field on a stretcher while his teammates watched.
In a statement following the launch of the game, the Rays said Zombro had been taken to Duke University Hospital in Durham, where he was in stable condition and was undergoing further treatment and observation.
On Friday, the Rays said Zombro had remained stable in the hospital, adding that “the updates from the night were positive”. The Bulls and Tides also postponed Friday’s game “in view of the events of the Thursday night competition” and with the approval of Major League Baseball.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said he spoke to Durham manager Brady Williams on Thursday night.
“Of course, he said it was a pretty harrowing experience, perhaps the scariest thing he’s seen on a baseball field,” said Cash.
“What they witnessed was very scary for a guy who is very important to them,” he added. “I can absolutely understand if your mind isn’t there, postponing a game makes sense for these players.”
The tides were up 12-4 when Zombro stepped in in the top of the eighth inning. Brett Cumberland, the first batsman Zombro faced, put a 1-2 fastball in the middle, which hit Zombro in the face. The right-handed man immediately fell to the ground and his feet seemed to be shaking when a sports coach rushed towards him.
The game was initially interrupted, but was later considered to be over.
“The good news, from all reports and reports, is that Tyler is making a good recovery,” said Cash. “At this point, things are going as well as we could have hoped. That’s enormous. I’m sure we want to keep hearing this good news for the next 24-48 hours, but right now we feel very happy and fortunate to be where Tyler is and just keep hoping for the best for him. “
Zombro has been with the Rays organization since 2017 when he signed as an undrafted free agent to George Mason. He has a 3.18 ERA this season and a 2.79 career ERA in the minors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.