Lakeside's New Baseball Coach Got a New Outlook on Life - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Lakeside's New Baseball Coach Got a New Outlook on Life

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Evans, GA (WJBF) -- Lakeside's new baseball coach says he will bring a positive attitude to the Panthers baseball team. He also has a unique perspective when it comes to telling his players to treat every game like it could be their last.

8 years ago, Brad Freeman was a freshman at Middle Georgia college pursuing his baseball playing dream. That dream turned into a nightmare.

Freeman was assigned to drag the diamond at a "meet the players" event. He was driving a cart that had a rake in the flat bed in the back. The handle of the rake was hanging out by about 12 inches. As Freeman was driving through a gate, the handle got caught. It then flung around, he says like an ax, and penetrated his skull.

Freeman underwent emergency surgery that night. He was out of the hospital in about a week. But then he started feeling sick. It turns out he had developed an infection on his brain. He says he spent a few months in the hospital with doctors trying to figure out the right combination of antibiotics to fight the infection. At one point, he says he thought that he was basically just waiting to die. Luckily, a doctor came through and was able to find the right combo to stop the infection. Freeman eventually got out of the hospital, but he would never be the same baseball player.

Freeman stayed on at Middle Georgia as a student assistant, but he still had the desire to play. The former Evans star pitcher couldn't throw as hard as used to, but he did get the chance to pitch for Paine College to achieve his goal of playing college baseball.

With his playing career stifled, Freeman turned to coaching. He says his accident has given him a positive attitude and great perspective. In fact, he says it's the best thing to ever happen to him. He says a great benefit is that he can really get the message across to his players to treat every game (and every day) like it could be their last.

Freeman served as the JV coach last year. This is the first varsity head coaching job for the 27-year-old.

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