After a frightening auto wreck, St. Amant shortstop Adam Sevario is thankful to be on the field — and in the playoffs _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- St. Amant shortstop Adam Sevario stabs a ground ball before making the throw to first base, getting out Catholic hitter Daniel Guilbeau, Tuesday, April 12, 2016 during the teams' matchup at Catholic High.

Everyone has heard stories about how a random event can change the course of a person’s life.

Few have a story like St. Amant senior shortstop Adam Sevario.

A scholarship offer from an unexpected source and a frightening auto wreck that happened within a few months of each other have given special meaning to baseball and life for Sevario.

“I’ve always loved baseball,” Sevario said. “Now I won’t ever take getting the chance to play it for granted. It’s made me appreciate other things and to work harder at being the best I can be.”

Sevario helps lead the No. 24 seed Gators (16-12) into a Class 5A first-round playoff game at No. 9 Sam Houston (19-12). Game time is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at SHHS, located in Moss Bluff.

Going into the playoffs, Sevario has a .394 batting average with one home run, 20 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Not bad for any senior, let alone one with metal rods and 85 screws running along his spine. He’s also a senior who has signed with Miami-based Florida International.

The first pivotal event for Sevario took place at an early-season tournament last spring. Former LSU assistant coach Henry “Turtle” Thomas, now head coach at FIU, saw a rare chance to do some Louisiana recruiting.

Thomas’ Panthers were at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg for a weekend series. The veteran coach dispatched an assistant to look at several players scheduled to play in the tournament. Sevario’s name wasn’t on that original list.

But a few plays and solid hits later, the FIU coaches were intrigued. Sevario was soon offered a scholarship and accepted.

With his future seemingly set, Sevario moved from the high school season to a summer season with the local American Legion team, Gauthier & Amedee.

In the early morning hours of June 7, a group of Gauthier players were at the home of a teammate. Another teammate called and wanted to join the group, so Sevario was part of a group headed down Airline Highway.

They never made it. Another vehicle struck the players’ vehicle, knocking it off the road and into the parking lot of a convenience store.

Sevario was thrown from the vehicle.

“I do remember being in the air,” Sevario said. “I think it was like 30 feet up in the air. Then I hit the ground. There was a patch of grass, and that’s where I landed.”

The best news is that no one was killed and those involved recovered. And though his injuries were serious, that grass likely saved Sevario’s life.

While he was hospitalized, Sevario was told of another case similar to his in which a teen died.

“At the hospital, I asked about baseball,” Sevario recalled. “They said there were shattered vertebrae. I had surgery.”

Sevario’s parents, Grady and Tara, had no thoughts of baseball.

“First, we were so thankful he was alive and within a few days we knew everybody would be OK,” Grady Sevario said. “When that’s your child, you just want them to be OK and be able to live a normal life.”

Watching their son struggle to move around in the days after he was discharged from the hospital was rough. Sevario was determined to play again and started a strenuous rehab regimen. The other good news: Florida International stood by its scholarship offer.

“I worked at it every day,” Sevario said. “I was determined to get back to baseball.”

Sevario did it all within a couple of months. Already an honor student, Sevario also worked harder in the classroom and looks to become a CPA one day. He signed with FIU in November.

“He’s always been a determined kid,” St. Amant coach Troy Templet said. “If you look at him now, you can’t tell he was in an accident. It’s been amazing.”

And now there’s a chance for one last playoff run with the Gators.

Follow Robin Fambrough on Twitter, @FambroughAdv.