It was a play that none of the 3,291 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park will soon forget. Alberto Rosario might be lucky just to have remembered it.
The Double-A Arkansas catcher was involved in a home-plate collision with Corpus Christi's Jake Goebbert on Thursday night that left him sprawled on the ground and in need of an ambulance.
On a double by Bobby Borchering in the third inning, Goebbert was coming home from first base while Rosario's attention was diverted toward the throw coming from right field.
The Hooks baserunner crashed into Rosario's left shoulder and neck area, forcing him on the ground until medical services arrived.
"He wasn't braced at all for it really," said strength coach Al Sandoval, who accompanied Rosario in the ambulance to University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Medical Center. "He didn't really have time to protect himself, just because he didn't see the guy coming. The runner was just playing hard. It was just one of those plays in baseball that unfortunately looks pretty scary."
Rosario regained feeling and movement in his arms and legs and strength in his muscles. He was able to speak with Sandoval, whom he told that he remembered the hit and the moments afterward. At the hospital, X-rays and a CAT scan came back negative.
"He's fine, everything seems to be good," Sandoval said. "He got ran over, so he obviously feels sore, but he turned to me and said, 'Hey, I feel good. I can't wait to play again.'"
Rosario was batting .221 with two homers and 25 RBIs between Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake this season. His precise return to the Travelers lineup was not immediately known, although there was hope that it could be sooner than expected in the moments after the collision.
"[A return] isn't entirely out of mind right now," Sandoval said. "He's going to be sore a while, but hey, I'm a trainer here and I'm hoping we can have him back in a few days. He was hit hard and run over. Really, this is the best-case scenario."
The Hooks eventually defeated the hosting Travelers, 5-1, on Thursday. Drew Locke hit a two-run inside-the-park homer in the first.
Bobby Doran (4-2) picked up the win after allowing one run on three hits in seven innings.
Paul McAnulty hit a solo homer in the first for Arkansas.