The best player in the Ohio Valley Conference and the best pitcher in the OVC should have met this past weekend when Jacksonville State visited Eastern Illinois. But neither Brett Nommensen nor Ben Tootle took the field.
Nommensen is out with a wrist injury. Tootle missed the start, his second in a row, as he recovered from a virus that attacked his digestive system, causing him to lose 10 pounds in a week, according to Jacksonville State coach Jim Case.
"I had the same deal, and I lost 10 pounds too," Case said, "but I had some to lose. Ben didn’t. We threw him one inning last week at mid-week (against Kennesaw State), but he just wasn’t ready, so we backed him off."
Case said that Tootle has been tested for mononucleosis and came up negative. Case tentatively plans on Tootle being ready to pitch this weekend against Eastern Kentucky but wasn’t sure if he’d throw Saturday or Sunday.
An all-star in the Cape Cod League last summer, Tootle has shown a mid-90s fastball all spring, touching 98, and is 3-1, 3.58 overall with 45 strikeouts in 37 innings. He’s walked 22.
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