By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Former Bishop Amat High School baseball standout and current UNLV pitcher Brady Zuniga was released from a Riverside-area hospital Wednesday after suffering broken bones above his eye when he took a line drive to the face while pitching against UC Riverside on Tuesday. Zuniga made a pitch and couldn’t get out of the way of a line drive sent back to the mound. Zuniga fell to the ground clutching his face and lie there for 15 minutes while paramedics treated him before transporting him to a hospital.
“He’s been released and he’s on his way back to UNLV to see a specialist,” Amat baseball coach Andy Nieto said after making contact with Zuniga and his family.
“He’s in good spirits. I’m sure better assessments can be made when the swelling goes down, but he’s got three broken bones to the orbital area of his eye socket.”
Zuniga graduated from Amat in 2009 after being part of CIF championship teams in 2007 and ’08. He’s 1-3 in 14 appearances for UNLV this season.
Zuniga expressed disappointment when told his team lost the game after he left for the hospital with a 5-3 lead, but that reaction was enough to make Nieto more certain everything would be all right with his former ace.
“Brady chuckled and was mad when he found out they lost the game,” Nieto said. “That kind of made me feel better, with what little sense of humor he had.”
Zuniga’s injury marred what otherwise was a big day for Amat baseball. Earlier Tuesday, Amat defeated La Salle 3-2 in extra innings to take command of the Del Rey League standings, but any joy from the win quickly turned to concern for a former teammate.
Fortunately for Zuniga, who’s from Monterey Park, his parents were at the game and with him at the hospital until his release.