Working on the mound, Patin—then a sophomore— was zapped by a line drive while pitching in a playoff game.
The ball hit approximately one inch above his right ear and hit with such force, the ball ricocheted off his head and rolled into the opponent’s dugout.
“It sounded like a wooden bat hitting a ball,” said his mother Tammy Patin, who watched in horror from the stands.
“There’s no way he could have gotten out of the way,” said Thorndale Coach Kelly Kuhl. “I’ve seen pitchers get hit in the foot, the leg. Devin’s first instinct was to go for the ball.”
The line drive caused bleeding in his brain and he spent several days in the hospital.
Patin was initially taken to the hospital in LaGrange where it was discovered he had bleeding in his brain and he suffered seizures.
He was transferred to University Medical Center Brackenridge where he had numbness on the left side of his body and was vomiting.
He left the game after the incident and watched the remainder of the game from the dugout and shook hands with Weimar players after the Bulldogs’ loss.
He was advised by doctors not to return to school for the remaining week that was left.
During his stay in the hospital, he received a gift package from Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who had read about his injury. The Bulldogs were facing Weimar in the first game of the area playoffs. They dropped the series to the state finalists in three games.
As a precaution, Patin— an offensive lineman and linebacker— did not play football last fall.
He doesn’t play basketball to concentrate on baseball.
Patin—a first-team all-district selection last season—has already pitched in several games for Thorndale this season and there doesn’t seem to be any side affects from the scary moment of a year ago.
He also plays outfield and does some designated hitting for the Bulldogs.
The only visible repercussion from the incident is, he wears a batting helmet at all times.
“He’s doing good,” said Kuhl.
“He is doing well this year,” said Thorndale Athletic Director and head football coach Brent Brevard. “He is playing pitcher again and doing good. As far as I know he is not having any headaches, etc...”
Patin is aiming to help lead the Bulldogs back to the state tournament for the first time since 2010.
The state tournament once acted as the homeaway from-home for Thorndale, as the Bulldogs made five appearances in six years (2005-06-07-09-10).
Thorndale also hasn’t won a district title since 2010.
The Bulldogs are loaded with experience to return them to the top, losing just two players of last season’s 18-13, third place district squad.
The Bulldogs are currently 10-5 and unbeaten in District 26A at 3-0, but faced 3-0 Granger Tuesday and 3-0 Georgetown Gateway on Friday.
Thorndale is led at the plate and on the hill by senior all-state performer Riley Schaefer, who is hitting a blistering .529 and has also rung up three wins with a sparkling 1.59 earned run average.
Eric Guzman has also won three games.
Dillon Bankston follows at .463, while Eric Hinistroza has driven in 18 runs.
Thorndale lost 6-4 despite outhitting Flatonia seven to three in a spring break contest.
Schaefer reached base three times in the game for the Bulldogs.
He singled in the first inning and doubled in the sixth inning.
Ian Leyendecker brought the heat against Flatonia during his outing.
Leyendecker held Flatonia hitless over 2 2/3 innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out one.
Patin absorbed the loss in one inning, walking six, fanning three, and allowing two runs.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Schaefer kicked things off with a single. A stolen base then moved him from first to second.
Thorndale jumped out to an early lead on Buckholts and captured a 17-0 victory on Thursday at Thorndale.
The game was decided quickly as the Bulldogs exerted their will early with 12 runs in the first three innings.
An RBI double by Schaefer, an RBI single by Rowdy McCoy, a two-run single by Leyendecker, and an RBI double by Patin in the first inning and an RBI single by Dillon Bankston, a two-run single by McCoy and a two-run single by Jake Miller during the second inning supplied the early offense.
McCoy racked up four RBIs on three hits.
Coach— Kelly Kuhl (8th year,
2013 district—9-5 (3rd)
Playofs— lost 2-1 in area to
state finalist Weimar.
Last district title—2010
Last state tournament—2010
Key losses—Price Miller, Gabriel Salinas,
Key returnees—Sr. SS/P Riley
Schaefer, district MVP, all-state;
Sr. OF Eric Guzman; Jr. C Rowdy
McCoy; Jr. 2B Dillon Bankston,
first-team all-district; Jr. SS Jake
Miller; Jr. 1B/P Eric Hinistroza; Jr.
OF Colton Austin; Jr. P/DH Devin
Patin, first-team all-district.