Keegan's Return to Vanderbilt's Lineup a Boost in more ways than one

Greg Arias

One might say that the Vandy Boys are on a bit of a roll, winners of their last seven consecutive games and eight of ten on the season. 

Pitching has been the strength of this team during this start while the offense find itself and their way this season.

Multiple freshmen have played key roles early on in this win streak and will be huge factors moving forward.  

Granted they have a long way to go to reach the 59-12 mark of last season, and the competition will get tougher as they enter conference play, but there are some things going on with this team that can't be ignored.  

One of those things is the return of Dominic Keegan. 

Expected to be a big part of the new-look Commodores in 2020, he was unexpectantly forced to miss time early this season. 

Last year as a freshman, Keegan appeared in only 15 games, getting five hits in 22 at-bats. It was thought that he would contend for a starting spot to begin this season, but things took an unexpected turn for the Methuen, Mass. native when he was diagnosed with  .

Following the Commodores exhibition versus Michigan on Nov. 10, Keegan felt some discomfort in his right arm. The next week that arm became swollen discolored promoting team trainers to send him to the hospital for a closer look. 

On Nov. 16, Keegan was in surgery to repair a blood clot. Part of the procedure to fix his condition included removing one of his ribs that had been part of creating his condition.  

Keegan returned to life and thought he was on the road to returning to baseball, but things took yet another unforeseen turn when he developed complications and found himself back in the hospital yet again. 

Finally recovered from surgery, and it's following complications, Keegan made his return to the field and the starting lineup for the Commodores on Wednesday against St. Louis after sitting out the first ten games of the season. 

His return was spectacularly unspectacular for the most part. What was spectacular was a moment he will remember forever and one both he and his Commodores teammates will look back on and recognize just how precious life is, and despite their youth and health, it could all be snatched away in an instant. 

While the circumstances were totally different, and most of the current Commodores roster were still in high school, it wasn't that long ago that this program lost a player to a tragic death. Having another player survive a life-threatening health scare is a good thing for this team, and especially Tim Corbin and his staff who faced the realization of life over baseball before. 

While Keegan's final stat line in his return, 1-3 with a single and a strikeout were nothing special, his return to the field was for a team still trying to find itself early in this season, and now Keegan has a chance to find his place in this seasons Commodore squad as they chase history.