By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Grant Henry was just finding his groove again when Coronavirus struck out the baseball season three months ago for him and twin brother Griffin Henry at Lower Columbia Community College.
Grant was on the mend from an ankle injury he suffered his Senior year at North Marion in football against Henley, having battled through it for the reminder of his High School career into Fall camp when it reached it’s breaking point. Beyond that actually.
“When I got to Lower Columbia, I didn’t realize how bad it actually was. Coach told me to get an MRI and found out there was a small fracture and the fractured bone was dying,” said Grant. “So they had to go in and take the dead spot out, so I was out basically the whole Fall.”
It was two weeks into Fall Camp and Grant was having a good Fall Camp. It was eight, nine weeks of recovery before he was able to return in the Spring. Four games in, the pandemic ended the season.
Grant Henry finished the year with 14 at-bats that included three hits, a double, a stolen base and an RBI with two starts at catcher against Columbia Basin and Edmonds. Both games were wins.
But with the pandemic, comes a time to heal as Grant and Griffin prepare for their next opportunity this summer with the Medford Rogues.
“Since I had a good Fall, they put me right back in and I was starting behind the dish,” “I was out to a hot start and then this whole thing happened. But I try to take a little bit of a positive out of it because this whole time off has given me 100-percent time off to fully heal.
“It was unfortunate to have the season end, but for me, the time was good.”
The twins were at work Tuesday preparing for when they head to Southern Oregon June 24. The Huskie duo will be staying in Central Point, about four miles north of Medford, with a host family. The season starts July 7 when the Rogues host the Medford Mustangs.
Members of the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League, Medford went to an independent schedule this summer to work in a few ball-games for its players as all 30 games are at home this summer at Harry and David Field in Medford, Oregon. The squad has had 22 former players drafted since 2013.
For Griffin Henry, who appeared in two games for the Red Devils, went 1-0 in six-and-two-third innings with eight strikeouts with an ERA of 2.70 as he threw a bullpen session with Grant catching earlier Tuesday.
“I’ve stayed healthy throughout the year, which put me into a relieving spot in our LCC rotation and with only a few games played before the season got cut short, I got my first college W as a pitcher out of the way, so that gave me a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Griffin Henry. “I’ve made sure to keep working out and keeping my arm in great shape. I threw a bullpen today and my arm felt amazing!
“I’ve been in contact with our pitching and catching coach with Medford and with a couple texts back and forth, I’ve been given the opportunity to get some starts in the mound and hopefully having grant back begins that plate again. I’m really looking forward to having the twin connection back again.”
The duo have one more year left at LCC beyond this summer, so they hope to take the most of this opportunity entering their final run with the Red Devils in the Spring of 2021.
“I have a couple things that I’m trying to take away from this opportunity. First thing is to get some more exposure to higher schools and I think it’s big that one of the coaches for OSU is helping coach our team! Another thing is that I’m always trying to gain more velocity on my fastball and sharpen up my pitches and I think this opportunity will help with staying in the groove before we start the grind again to win another NWAC title,” said Griffin Henry.
“This is going to be a good opportunity for us to expose ourselves more. Medford, the Rogues, we kind of got lucky because they are one of the few teams that are still having a Summer. So we got assigned to a good place,” adds Grant Henry. “The coaches that we have down there are super well-known. The exposure that we’re going to get down there, just a new environment, I feel like it’s going to be good for us.”