BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Indiana senior baseball player Nick Vitielliss must undergo Tommy John surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm and will be forced to miss the 2003 season head coach Bob Morgan announced on Wednesday. Vitielliss, who was slated to be the Hoosiers No. 1 starter on the mound this season, plans to return for a fifth-year in 2004.
This is a big loss for us, Morgan said. Nick is coming off a great junior season and was expected to be our No. 1 pitcher. We will just have to have some guys step up for us on the mound.
Vitielliss compiled an impressive 8-1 record and a 3.58 ERA in 73.0 innings of work as a junior. For his efforts, he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. The Waldorf, Md., native was Indianas top returning pitcher coming into this season. Vitielliss also had shoulder surgery in the off season and is nearing a full recovery from it.
Vitelliss is the second Hoosier player that will miss this season due to Tommy John surgery. Junior infielder Joe Kemp will also sit out after having the surgery over the summer. Kemp will be back next season. In addition, incoming junior college transfer John Matlick was also lost for the season due to an arm surgery. All three players were injured while playing over the summer.
IU is scheduled to open the 2003 season this weekend with a three-game series against Morehead State in Morehead, Ky. First pitch for Fridays game is at 2 p.m., Saturdays is set for 1 p.m. and Sundays finale is also at 1 p.m.