Defying the odds

Defying the odds

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Defying the odds


Over the past two weeks, Rick Reilly and Max Preps have profiled Farmington (Ill.) second baseman Josh Ruchotzke, and for good reason.

Five years ago, Ruchotzke lost parts of four limbs after streptococci bacteria ravaged his body. Ruchotzke’s mom initially thought her son had a bad case of the flu. Doctors told her that Josh had a 5 percent chance to live.

Not only did Ruchotzke live, he returned to the field, with prosthetics, a special glove and a batting device called the Batzilla.

The 18-year-old senior, who will serve as the baseball team manager at Vanderbilt, is hitting .279 with 15 RBIs heading into tonight’s playoff game against Brumfield.

Max Preps reports there’s a chance Ruchotzke won’t play due to a bone spur in his right stump, but given what Ruchotzke has already been through, that doesn’t seem very likely.

“I’ve had a real good run and accomplished probably more than I expected,” Ruchotzke told Max Preps. “But I don’t want to go out sitting on the bench. I have to get another shot.”

We highly suggest you check out the entire feature and the photo gallery of Ruchotzke in action.


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Defying the odds
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