Corey Wright overcomes Tommy John Surgery, pitching in college
By Jim Turner

Posted on November 11, 2014 8:52 AM

Corey Wright, who was a standout pitcher for the Russellville Panthers before he ever got to high school, is back to being one of the youngest players on his team. This time the team is on the college level.

Wright, who graduated from RHS this spring, signed this summer with St. Catharine College in the Bardstown area. He is one of seven new pitchers on the Patriot squad vying for a spot in the rotation this spring.

St. Catharine, which grew into a four-year school after being a junior college for many years, is in the NAIA and plays in the Mid-South Conference with Campbellsville, Georgetown, Lindsey Wilson, the University of the Cumberlands, Pikeville and Cumberland University.

The way he pitched in his eighth grade through sophomore seasons, it appeared Wright was on his way to Division I baseball, especially with his 6-2, 215-pound build. But then in the first district game of his junior year, he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. He underwent Tommy John Surgery, performed by Dr. Charles Cox.

By that fall he was back to kicking and eventually playing tackle for the RHS football team, which was generally believed to be the second best Class 1A team in the state. And when the Panther baseball team went into postseason action, senior Corey Wright was the starting pitcher in the opening game of the district tournament, chosen for that honor by Hall of Fame coach Greg Shelton.

Wright received the Special Teams Award in football in both his junior and senior seasons. He is the nephew of Sonny Green, who was the super kicker for Coach Ken Barrett’s state champion Panthers in 1983 and continued to kick during the team’s 24-game win streak and also at Morehead State University.

Corey began pitching varsity as an eighth grader. Coach Lou Kendall brought him in to pitch in the Class A regional tournament and he got the save. In the district finals he pitched in relief of Thomas Shifflett, who also would undergo the Tommy John Surgery. Together they helped the Panthers win the district. He also pitched in the high school regional against Warren Central that year. He and infielder Barrett Croslin were named co-rookies of the year in 2010 as eighth grader.

As a freshman, he batted .300 and tied for the RBI lead with D.J. Quarles. Playing first base, he had a 98.2 fielding percentage. One of his pitching wins was a 2-0 shutout of Franklin-Simpson. At region he pitched a 14-0 shutout of Glasgow on a two-hitter.

In Kendall’s final year as coach, Wright was named outstanding pitcher. In Shelton’s first year at the Panther helm, Wright won the Golden Glove defensive award while playing first base after suffering the serious arm injury.

As a senior after the surgery, he led the Panthers with 39 RBIs and tied for home run leadership with three. He had a sizzling 1.05 earned run average and joined Zach Denney as co-recipients of the team pitching award. Wright had a 4-1 record and a 0.950 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). He allowed batters to reach base at only a .236 clip.

In choosing a college to continue his baseball career, Wright was recruited by Lindsey Wilson, Campbellsville and Georgetown, but decided St. Catharine was the best place for him. The Patriots are coached by Luther Bramlett, who was Russellville football coach John Myers’ roommate at Campbellsville.

Corey is the son of Danny and Kim Wright, the brother of Brooke Wright Scarbrough and the grandson of Donna Luckett.

He is one of three members of Russellville’s Class of 2014 playing college baseball. Denney is playing for Lincoln Trail in Illinois and Croslin for Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn.



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