Riley Harrison was able to stand up on his own after taking a hit ball to the head while pitching for the Mountain View baseball team during Game 2 of the 5A District 3 championship series Wednesday at Rocky Mountain High.
But the senior lefty is far from out of the woods.
Harrison was admitted to the ICU at Saint Alphonsus and remains hospitalized as of Thursday afternoon with a skull fracture. Doctors are scanning his brain four times a day to monitor for potential swelling and brain bleeding, Mountain View Athletic Director Luke Wolf said.
“His family wants to thank everyone who has reached out and sent their prayers his way,” Wolf said. “Keep them coming. They seem to be working.”
Harrison pitched the first three innings of Wednesday’s game and appeared well on his way to a victory with a 5-1 Mountain View lead as he stepped to the mound in the bottom of the fourth. But Harrison’s first pitch smacked off the bat of Rocky Mountain’s Russell Wartchow and into Harrison’s head in a split second. He lay motionless on his back on the mound for a few seconds as coaches and trainers ran to his aid.
Harrison was eventually able to sit up and walk to the dugout, and then was taken directly to the hospital for evaluation. On the way to the hospital, Harrison joked with his parents saying, “I knew I shouldn’t have thrown that fastball,” Wolf said.
Mountain View went on to win the game 14-1, clinching the program’s first district championship.
Harrison, who is committed to play baseball for Columbia Basin this fall, is expected to remain in the hospital as doctors continue to evaluate the severity of his injury. The Mountain View softball team will have Harrison’s No. 9 written in chalk behind home plate for Thursday night’s 5A District 3 Tournament championship game against Rocky Mountain. The Eagle baseball team also plans to wear Harrison’s No. 9 on their uniforms for their third-place game against Boise.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Harrison family with medical bills. According to the post, this is the third medical emergency in the last five months for Harrison. He had his appendix removed and he fractured two bones in his right hand before the start of the season. The fundraiser has already received $2,109 of its $10,000 goal in just two hours.