SJ-O's Hart still sidelined

SJ-O's Hart still sidelined

ST. JOSEPH — The high school baseball season has three more weeks in the regular season. It’s unclear how many of those weeks reigning Area Player of the Year Hunter Hart will be available to pitch for St. Joseph-Ogden.

The Indiana University recruit has been sidelined the past week with an undisclosed — but non-baseball — injury.

SJ-O coach Josh Haley, whose team has a 17-1 record, wouldn’t comment about why Hart is sidelined but said, “This is not a major injury. It is not arm-related. There are no red flags for Major League Baseball.

“That’s good news for Hunter’s sake and for our team’s sake.”

Describing himself as “optimistic,” Haley said he is hopeful that Hart’s prep career is not over.

“I expect him back, but I don’t know exactly when,” Haley said. “If he’s back for the postseason, that would be wonderful. If he’s not back, we won’t do anything to limit his chances (for the future).”

Hart is the area leader in strikeouts (55) and is tied for the area lead in wins (five). In 28 innings as a senior, he has allowed one earned run. Hart’s last pitching appearance was April 12, when he beat Danville 2-0.

“We have a very deep pitching staff, and our expectations don’t change,” Haley said. “We’ve been dealing with injuries on and off all year and have been able to have other guys step in. This won’t be any different.”