COLUMBIA, S.C. — After going through a pain-free round of pregame batting practice, junior catcher Hunter Feduccia was back in the lineup for Friday’s series opener against South Carolina after a one-game absence.
LSU feels lucky he only missed that much.
Earlier this week, LSU discovered the soreness Feduccia was feeling in his right hand was actually a broken third metacarpal. The same injury, except to his left hand, caused Feduccia to miss the first three games of the season.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri believed the injury was brought on against Texas A&M a few weeks ago, when a pitch hit an Aggies batter and deflected off Feduccia’s throwing hand.
An X-ray did not show a fracture, and Feduccia stayed in the lineup — hitting a home run and a pair of doubles in the next four games.
But he aggravated his injury on a check swing in one of his final at-bats of the Tennessee series. This time, LSU sent him in for a CT scan, which showed the fracture.
After the Tennessee finale, Feduccia did not swing a bat until Friday before Game 1 of LSU’s series against the Gamecocks.
He hit the ball well without feeling pain in his hand, and a doctor had already informed LSU it would not make his injury worse to let him play, so Mainieri decided to put him in the lineup.
Even if Feduccia would not have been able to swing, Mainieri said he considered the possibility of using him to catch starting pitcher Zack Hess, with the instruction that he would not swing at pitches once he got to the plate.