Minor Setbacks for a Major Comeback

By Sydney Gorak gargoyle@flagler.edu

For Flagler College baseball player Codie Lunday, stepping back onto the pitcher’s plate after surgery was an exciting moment. But for the junior pitcher, he also experienced something else — fear.

“I was really nervous I was going to injure my elbow again and would never be able to play again but I was excited to be back on the field with my team after six months,” stated Lunday. 

In the past, Lunday has suffered from several stress fractures in his left elbow during Sophomore, Junior and Senior years of High School. He injured his elbow from pitching, which led to taking him out of several games throughout the seasons and making a huge impact on his team.

Lunday had surgery three times and the recovery process took six months each time he injured his elbow. During the recovery process, there were doubts from his coach and his physician of not being able to play again.

“I couldn’t straighten my arm Sophomore year and was told I wouldn’t be able to play again if I got injured again,” said Lunday. 

Lunday was in tremendous pain and frustration from not being able to practice and attended physical therapy every day for three hours to recover. He wore a sling, wrapped his elbow and changed bandages every day. “Wrapping my elbow to shower was the worst part,” said Lunday.

Some gamedays Lunday was able to pitch when he could and wasn’t in tremendous pain. He switched to playing first base for a couple games to rest his elbow. 

Lunday was able to cope through the several times of recovery throughout High School and remained hopeful thanks to his dad. 

“My dad always said don’t compare your weakness to someone’s strength because they always had a starting point too. God has a plan for you,” said Lunday.

Lunday attended College of Central Florida in the fall of 2017, and in August of that year had to have another surgery on his elbow. He was in rehab until April 2018, unable to play the whole season.

During the summer of 2018, Lunday was able to pitch again thanks to his coach changing the mechanics to pitch. The technique was very beneficial and applied less stress on Lunday’s elbow. 

With this new technique, Lunday was able to pitch all Sophomore year without pain in his elbow throwing a total of 55 innings all season. Lunday transferred to Flagler College in the fall of 2019, but in September suffered from shoulder tendinitis due to the lack of pitching over the summer.

Lunday had an MRI and a cortisone shot in November to ease the pain and swelling. Afterward, he was able to start practicing normally without any pain. He continued to use the same pitching technique and performed exercises to strengthen his elbow on a daily basis. 

Lunday is able to participate in practices without any pain and continues to use an app called Driveline baseball to build strength in his elbow. The app is designed to improve strength, mechanics, command velocity and arm fitness. He uses these exercises everyday giving 50% intensity during practices and 100% during game days.

On Jan 31, 2020 the Flagler College baseball team attended the Houston Winter Invitational for three days. There were a total of six teams and three games.

Lunday was able to pitch an inning on February 1st without any pain, trying to build elbow strength for games later in the season.

The team won all three games during the Houston Winter Invitational. They remain extremely excited for what is in store this season, and potentially making it further than previous years.

“Everyone has to do their part, it’s going to be an unbelievable season and lots of team chemistry and should pan out to be a great season,” said Flagler College baseball player Connor Laspina.

The team hopes to win the Peach Belt Tournament this May and make it even further, to Regionals and National Championships. 

For more information on upcoming games and the 2020 baseball schedule, click on the link below. 


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