Wong’s return gives Rattlers an extra push
By MarKeith Cromartie Outlook Writer
Alec Wong was devastated when a season-ending injury knocked him out of the most successful season for FAMU’s baseball program.
Wong, a senior from Rockledge, was upended during the Rattlers’ MEAC tournament against Savannah State last season. FAMU eventually went on to win the championship and earned the program’s first ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
But the Rattlers had to do it without Wong. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus after the collision at second base. At that point, he was having a standout year, finishing second in the conference with assists on putouts, while batting .271 and tied for second with the most runs scored on the team.
Wong hasn’t missed a beat since this season started. Cleared by his doctors to play just five days before FAMU opened the season against Marshall University, he ended the three-game series with a performance that earned him Player of the Week honors from the MEAC.
Wong finished the Marshall series batting .750 with a double, three-runs, a home run, six run batted in and four runs scored.
Wong improved his batting average to .364 this past weekend when the Rattlers completed a three-game sweep of Western Michigan at Moore-Kittles Field.
He feels fortunate to have achieved as much as he has this early in the season. Even coach Jamey Shouppe is surprised at his recovery.
“I didn’t think he would come back this year,” Shouppe said. “I thought we would have to redshirt him. I’m very surprised that he has come back playing at such a high level.”
As much as he has accomplished this early in the season, Wong hasn’t forgotten the sense of uncertainty he felt about his career right after the injury.
“I knew right then and there I was going to miss the tournament,” said Wong, who attributed his success so far to eight months of intense rehabilitation. “I was really bummed out about that.
“It feels great to know that all my hard work in baseball and rehab is paying off. I’m happy to get the (Marshall) series win. Winning the MEAC Player of the Week tops it all off.”
The tenacity that Wong has shown in his comeback serves as motivation, his teammates said.
“He is a very talented player and hard worker,” said outfielder Dexter Martin. “He knows how to get it done on and off the field.”
Given his contributions through the Rattlers’ first 13 games, there is no sign of letting up for Wong. And, with good reason. He said he wants to help the Rattlers make another trip to the NCAA tournament as an active player.
“This is my last year playing,” he said. “I wanted to do everything in my power to play at my potential and help this team win.”