Tanner Grant’s hearing is gradually returning to normal as he comes from a ruptured eardrum, but his bat is as strong as ever.
After missing Nixa’s COC contest against Webb City a couple weeks ago due to his ruptured eardrum, Grant re-joined the Eagles in time to slug three home runs covering the Columbia Classic and a trip to Kickapoo.
The senior first baseman anguished about being absent, but conceded he had no choice but to not play, considering his condition.
“I do not like to miss games,” he said. “But I was in a lot of pain. It was overwhelming pain. It wasn't a fun 24 hours.”
Upon returning to Nixa’s lineup, Grant wasn’t 100 percent, but the pain was at least tolerable.
“I've had pain meds the last couple weeks of antibiotics. I'm rolling with it,” Grant said.
Nixa coach Logan Hughes understood the pain Grant has had to endure. Hughes’ oldest son went through the same ordeal.
“It's going to take several weeks for it to heal,” Hughes said. “There is still probably some blood in (his ear). He's a fighter. He wants to be in there every day.”
Grant was also feeling better upon receiving an Atlas 34-ounce, drop-three orange bat he had ordered early in the spring.
“It's one of the hottest bats right now,” he said. “A bunch of the guys have it, so I'd been trying it out. It felt good and I finally got one. I really like the bat. It's super light (and) feels good through the zone. I have been on fire with it.”
After homering at Kickapoo, Grant delivered a two-out, RBI-single at Republic.
“I was trying to stay loose and put the barrel on the ball and move the runners with two outs,” he said. “It’s a good confidence builder any time you get a hit with two outs.
"I'm seeing the ball really well and have a lot of confidence,” he added.
“He’s swinging the bat confidently,” Hughes said. “He feels good about his swing and is attacking.”
Nixa (26-6) and Ozark (15-13) will conclude regular-season play this week and move on to Districts next week.