Student-assistant coach: Obregon uses time out of lineup to learn, mentor

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Earlier this season, as Tré Obregon rounded third base, he was set on heading to the plate in a mad dash to score.

However, he saw the top sign, and when he put on the brakes his feet went out from under him. In that moment his season end.

Obregon injured his thumb while bracing to hit the ground and struggling back to the base.

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“I had gotten a good jump from second and was looking to score,” Obregon said. “I don’t know exactly what happened. I think I hit my thumb on the corner of the base diving back.

“It went numb for about 35 minutes or so.”

He would have surgery three days later.

“It was disappointing,” said the switch-hitting designated hitter from Oklahoma. “I just wanted to play baseball.”

Known for his old-school barbershop-quartet mustache as much as anything else, Obregon wanted to make sure he stayed close to the game.

He helped out as a base coach at times and with scouting reports. He was also a veteran willing to give time to his teammates.

“I think he has been a help as a mentor to the other players,” McNeese head coach Justin Hill said. “When a peer who has been in the game recently can give you tips it is a good thing.”

For Obregon it was especially about helping the younger guys.

“Sitting out opened my eyes to different things in the game that I can pass along,” Obregon said. “It was frustrating, but you have to do what you can so you are not thinking about the injury and not playing.”

Through the first 15 games Obregon, a first-team preseason all-Southland Conference selection, was hitting .357 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. That was after he hit .321 with 34 RBIs a year ago despite missing games to a leg injury and concussion.

“It was easier last year because I knew I was coming back,” Obregon said. “I knew this time my season was over.”

He just hoped his career wasn’t.

Obregon, a redshirt senior, has asked the Southland and NCAA for an extra season because of the injury.

“Nothing is done until it is done,” Hill said. “We haven’t heard any reason why he won’t be given the extra year and that’s what we are hoping for.

“We are a better team when he is in the lineup. He hits right in the middle, drives in runs and it took some time after he got hurt to figure some things out.”

Obregon said he wants one more chance to change the ending.

“You don’t want that play to be the last of your career if you can help it,” Obregon said.

He’s looking to write a better ending.