Claxton recovers from shortened season

Published 5:01 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

After winning the Conference Rookie of the Year last year, an injury shortened Dominick Claxton’s sophomore baseball season.

Last year, Claxton jumped on the scene at Ferrum College. He came in strong earning USA South All-Conference second team and the USA South Baseball Rookie of the Year.

However, a hamstring injury basically cost Claxton all of his season. It was a significant injury and tough for him to deal with mentally. He also felt like he was letting his teammates down.

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“It was extremely tough, because I was excited about this year,” he said. “I wanted to build off of my freshman season. I felt as if I was letting my teammates down, because every day they would ask me was I playing, and that would motivate me to work hard in the training room and come back and play.”

The former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy baseball standout had never before experienced such a serious injury. Running is what he does best, and the hamstring injury prevented him from doing that.

“My teammates supported me along the way,” he said. “My roommate supported me especially. He is an outfielder on the team.”

The pain eventually went away over time, but Claxton wasn’t the same because of how much time he had missed. His timing was off, and he wasn’t making consistent contact with the ball like he wanted to.

For his junior season, he wants to be able to play every game. He is also working on his offensive game, and he will provide the spark Ferrum was hopeful to have this season.

Claxton played in 21 games but started 20 and had 17 hits to go with five RBIs. It was clear his injury affected him. Last season, he played in 33 games and helped the team to a 22-18 record.

So far, Claxton seems to be recovered, as he recently competed in the Tidewater Summer League. There, he finished third in batting average in the league and was selected to the All-Star game while also leading the league in stolen bases.

“My legs feel 100 percent, and I’m excited about progressing towards my next season,” Claxton said. “This is the most confident I have ever felt going into a season.”