Back in early February, before baseball season began, David Thompson sat in the Miami Hurricanes dugout surrounded by reporters, all of them eager to ask the Canes third baseman about his renewed health and outlook on the season.
“Who’s going to hit the most home runs?” one asked.
Thompson’s reply: “I hope it’s me.”
The junior now leads the Hurricanes with six home runs this season, five of which have come in his last six games.
Over the course of the Canes’ last six consecutive wins, Thompson has proved his prowess as a slugger. Thompson earned the ACC Player of the Week honor on Monday – thanks to a .524 batting average in five games last week, with two doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs. But he hasn’t let it stop there.
Thompson followed that up Tuesday with two more home runs during Miami’s 9-1 win over Army. His first tied up the game, and the second was a grand slam – making it the Miami native’s first career multi-home run game.
“I knew they were gone when I hit them,” Thompson said.
Last year, Thompson missed 32 games in the middle of the season due to his thoracic outlet syndrome, which required surgery.
“It was really scary, especially going in the hospital not really knowing what happened, and it being a blood clot,” he said. “It definitely scared me, not knowing if I’d ever be able to play again or how long it’d take to recover.”
Team physician Dr. Lee Kaplan helped reassure Thompson that everything would be fine. During Thompson’s time in the hospital, head coach Jim Morris also checked in on him daily by calling and sending text messages.
Thompson’s fresh return from an interrupted sophomore season has been a sharp one. Only a month into the season, he has amassed an impressive 31 RBIs, far surpassing all of his teammates.
Thompson recalls struggling part of his freshman season with the Hurricanes. He met with Morris to ask what he could do to improve and get back in the lineup.
“He was really encouraging,” Thomspon said. “Obviously he said he was playing the guys that were playing the best at the time, but he’s going to keep working with me and said he’d never give up on me.”
It’s a good thing Morris didn’t.