It all changed in the blink of an eye for Cohen Achen. The up-and-coming pitcher was on the mound for Big Bend Community College in early-2020 when he was hit in the face by a comebacker. He considers himself lucky that it was in a spot near the eye that didn’t damage the orbital bone, jaw bone or hit his temple. But he definitely had a concussion and a nasty bump that took about three months to heal. It wasn’t just physical either, as he had to get back onto a mound again, even though playing catch sometimes left him a little uneasy. Once he got over it, he flourished.
The 19-year-old came back this spring with Lindsay Wilson College, going 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 13 appearances, including seven starts after starting the season in the bullpen. For his efforts, Achen was named an All Mid-South Conference Second-Team All Star and was named the MSC Freshman of the Year. He’s now in quarantine after arriving back home, and chatted with me earlier this week about his baseball journey, his all star campaign, and how his injury actually helped give him a new love for the game.