HAMMOND | Enrique Zamora readily admits he tried to do too much and it almost cost him the baseball season.
During a fall football game against Bowman, the Clark lineman picked up a deep kick, saw an opening and started to run. Listed on the roster at 6-foot-2, 301 pounds, he lasted 36 yards before four Bowman players tackled him.
His ankle snapped, then his tibia.
His football season was over.
"When my mom came in and her first question to the doctor was about baseball season, my heart broke," Zamora said. "I couldn't speak. I didn't know if I'd step back on the mound again."
Zamora healed, and found his comfort again on the mound, even though planting on his previously-broken ankle feels "weird."
After a victory Wednesday that secured Clark the Greater South Shore Conference championship outright, Zamora held a 4-2 pitching record, including two wins over the Governors and another against Wheeler.
"He's still the guy we send out against our toughest competition," Clark coach Chris Moore said. "Working back from that broken ankle, he started off a little slow on the mound. But he went against Munster and a couple of other tough teams. He's our energy guy. We have two leaders who are outstanding and a lot of guys feed off of his energy."
Missing his fall ball season as well as football took a few at-bats out of Zamora's hands.
The bat looks like a mere pencil in his grip, and Zamora has helped write himself a chance at a Division I ticket as Chicago State is among the schools looking at him. Batting third for the Pioneers, he's hovered most of the season around .400.
"He's just a horse," Moore said. "His body bounces back and that's amazing when you consider how much we need him. He's all about baseball. He can't stop asking what he can do to help improve."
Zamora was so eager to return from his ankle break that he started pitching off a mound inside almost too early. His first few outings came with some concern.
"I came back about two weeks early, but I wanted to be out there," Zamora said. "I was a little shaky at first, then we came around to our first game. They really had confidence in me and that pushed me to be out there."