The North Carolina signee began feeling tenderness after a May 16 start against Potomac Falls. In that start, Bukauskas was on a pitch count and threw four innings. His fastball was consistently in the lower 90s, and it touched 96 mph.
“It’s nothing serious; it’s more an inability to get loose,” Bukauskas said. “About 12 days ago I went to the doctor and he said nothing was structurally wrong, but I just needed some rest.”
Bukauskas informed Tar Heels Coach Mike Fox and pitching coach Scott Forbes that he was having inflammation, and they decided that it would be best for him to stop pitching.
The 17-year-old has moved to the batting order, where he is hitting seventh. He notched a walk-off single in the Virginia Conference 21 championship to lift the Bulldogs over Freedom-South Riding, 6-5.
“It gives you a different perspective on the game,” Bukauskas said of solely batting. “I’m seeing more of what everybody else does on a daily basis, and it’s more fun than pitching. Nothing is better than getting a walk-off base hit.”
Stone Bridge will be in action Wednesday as it hosts Marshall in a Virginia 5A North semifinal.