Cox Signs With USC-Aiken
Courtesy of VHS
Surrounded by family, friends, coaches, and teammates, on Thursday of last week, 'Comeback Kid' Kevin Cox became the 8th member of the 2022 State Champion Vidalia Indians to sign to play at the next level. The 2nd Team All-State Selection, Cox signed to play baseball at USC-Aiken of the Peach Belt Conference. “I really got a good feel for their team and what their program is like through their pitching coach Jason Richman,” said Cox when asked about why he chose the Pacers. “They also made me feel at home when I went for my visit, so it was just a confirmation.”
Cox didn’t get many offers during the season, as he was coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2021 season for the Indians, who made it to the quarterfinals of the 2021 GHSA State Playoffs. Cox had worked himself back into the lineup early in the season, only to be thrown another curveball when he was severely injured after a collision with a fence post chasing down a foul ball just a week before the beginning of the 2AA Region schedule. “I broke my nose, knocked three teeth out, had a huge gash between my lips and chin, and broke all the structural bones that hold my bottom teeth. I also had a concussion and broke my left hand.”
Facing uphill odds on a talent-rich team, Cox said that he thought about quitting, but his mother would not let him give up, “I’m not going to lie; I almost quit. I continued from page
had just finished rehabbing from my Tommy John, and then that happened, and I was questioning if playing was really worth it. I mean, I had no offers, and I had another uphill climb just to get back where I was. But my Mom wouldn’t let me quit, and deep down, I knew that wasn’t going to be the thing to do, so I put my head down and went to work again to get back ready for the rest of the season, whatever that would be.”
And going to work is what he did. In the final Region games Cox played in, the right-handed hardthrowing second baseman/ pitcher not only began to get his swing back but was also 2-0 on the mound with a .488 ERA.
“Once he got a chance, he showed he wasn’t going to be stopped,” said Vidalia Head Coach Brent Korn. “We knew if he could get rehabbed and got some at bats and innings on the mound, it was going to be huge for him and the team.” And huge it was. In the playoffs alone, Cox hit .471 with two home runs, two doubles, and 10 RBI's. He also was 2-0 in his last two mound appearances throwing 5.1 innings and allowing one earned run to get the game three win against Lovett in the semifinals. Then he pitched a complete game, 2-hit shut out in game three of the State Championship against Thomasville, striking out nine en route to Vidalia’s first Championship since 2003.
'Kevin’s story is one I will be telling for a very long time,' said Korn. 'For him to come back and persevere and do what he did, it’s something of which fairy tales are made. He has inspired so many with his comeback and determination I have decided to start giving a 'Kevin Cox Award' in baseball from here on out.”
“I’m very Blessed,” said Cox. “To be able to play a game that I love for so many years, and now I get to play at the next level, it’s really unbelievable.”
Cox's mother Kellie added, “We are very proud of him. I told him after all of the injuries all you can do is leave it on the field. When he got the text the night before the final game from Coach Korn that he had the ball, he told me he was ready. I kept telling him to do his best and he told me that he had it and he had been waiting for this. Sad that my boy will be two and a half hours away, but it isn't so far that this mama will not be at those games.”