Former Crosby player takes big step after injury
Crosby High School alum Sean Bergeron didn’t know if he would ever play baseball again.
In the fall of 2016, Bergeron had just begun pitching for Angelina College in Lufkin when elbow issues led to a need for Tommy John surgery that shut down the former Cougar.
“I grabbed at my elbow and my assistant coach looked at me,” Bergeron said. “Then I threw another pitch and my head coach came out and I told him what was hurting. I could see immediately the shock on his face and he took me out of the game.”
Who would have thought now, in the present day, he would be walking onto the campus of Western Kentucky University as a NCAA Division I baseball player.
“I was like ‘I’m done with this, I can’t do it,’” Bergeron said. “But now I am glad that I went through it because I never thought I would be playing Division I baseball.
“At the time I wanted to throw the towel in and go home. I didn’t care what happened to me and was like whatever happens, happens. I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
With the support of his family and his old summer/offseason coach Skip Allen, he found his way back onto the bump within the next year and produced his first collegiate outing.
Over the two seasons, Bergeron started 23 games, finishing 14-6 and lowering his ERA from 5.02 his freshman year to 3.91 this past Spring.
Bergeron came up big for Angelina, which finished 33-21 this past spring in a tough Region XIV for baseball.
Throw in 10.85 strikeouts per nine innings and Western Kentucky came calling.
Western Kentucky head coach John Pawlowski is counting the days for Bergeron to get on campus and begin making a difference for the Hilltoppers who went 26-29-1 last year as a member of Conference USA.
“We are excited about Sean: He’s pitched in some pretty big games for Angelina,” Pawlowski said. “We think he has the opportunity and possibility at being in the weekend rotation for us. That’s what we recruited him for.”
Bergeron can deal heat, but he is more likely to paint the strike zone and control the way batters get on base.
“I got a lot of swings and misses out of the zone because I controlled the lower part of the zone,” Bergeron said. “Whenever I needed to, I can come high and watch them swing through it.”
Bergeron is identified by his competitiveness and that hasn’t changed since his younger days.
Crosby High head coach Chris Wiggins remembered fondly when Bergeron chased a foul ball into the Rice University sunken dugout during a 2015 regional semifinal game.
“Sean is a coach’s dream,” Wiggins said. “He is a kid that is all about the game of baseball and he will run through a wall for you. (In the playoff) it was Sean versus the wall and the wall won, but not be a lack of effort from Sean.”
Effort has taken him to major college baseball only a few years removed from thinking baseball was no longer a part of his life’s equation.
“I am blessed honestly,” Bergeron said. “Everyone has a plan in life and two years ago, I didn’t see that. I expected myself to be a two-year athlete and go to school after that.
“Hopefully in two years I will be getting drafted (for MLB).”