February 29, 2016 - by

Back Out on the Diamond

“It was just a big blessing honestly.”

Andrew Karp made his collegiate debut in the opening weekend for the Seminoles. 

“There was a lot of emotions floating out there and a lot of adrenaline,” Andrew Karp said. “I haven’t pitched since senior year of high school. Just to get back out there, regardless of what happened, I had a big smile on my face. What matters is the team won.” 

In the 23-4 win, Karp allowed 3 runs on 4 hits facing 8 batters in an inning pitched, not the debut a pitcher would hope for, but just to stand on the mound in a game was a feat in itself.

“It goes to show you when a guy has the strong will, that he can accomplish just about anything,” head coach Mike Martin said.

“Not only stepping out on that field, but finishing that inning was very important,” pitching coach Mike Bell said. “A key word was finish because it didn’t start off great for him. What you saw was true Andrew Karp fashion; somebody that buckled down, took a step back, composed himself and yeah his heart was racing a bit.”

It certainly was. It had been about a year and a half since he last played in a game. It was on November 15, 2014 before his first season at Florida State, Andrew Karp was in a serious car accident fracturing his left femur.

“There were days when you go into the doctors and nothing is changing, your bones aren’t healing and things like that,” Karp said. “You just sit down and all you want to do is stare at a wall. You wonder, ‘am I going to get back to that point? Am I ever going to be as good as I know I can be?’ All the work has paid off and it’s been worth it.”

It wasn’t until mid summer that Karp was able to step back out on the mound, and it wasn’t until later in the fall that he began getting 100 percent of his strength back. 

“That length of time after the way the X-Ray showed me, no man is going to be out on the mound as quickly as he was,” Martin said.

“To see someone go through a traumatic incident like that when they’re at the very bottom and that may think they are not be able to get back up from this and just seeing his guts and determination and just wanting to get back out here and play with the guys is just awesome,” Ben DeLuzio said.

Just to step between the lines again Karp says is a blessing and his coaches know the determination it took to get to where he is today is a telling sign of Karp’s potential. 

“He is very tough mentally,” Martin said. “That’s what it takes. You got to have a short memory when you are pitching, you got to be able to accept failure with the understanding that I will be ready to go my next outing.”

“He had to go take three, four, five steps back and work his way back forward to get back to where he was, but let’s also continue to get better,” Bell said. “That’s where he is now.”

“You just got to trust in God, and you got to believe in the process,” Karp said. “You got to take it day by day, you can only control what you can control and everything else you got to leave alone. Just go in there an work hard and don’t leave anything left. When you look yourself in the mirror just know you did all you could do.”

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