By Anthony Rhoads
In the 2003 baseball season at Kennesaw State University, Jonesboro's Ryan Perry thought he was going to get plenty of playing time.
But in the winter, Perry was set back with an illness and had to focus on just getting well rather than playing baseball.
"In December he was in the hospital with Crohn's Disease," Jonesboro head coach Don Corr said. "He lost of lot of weight. He had a great fall and thought he was going get a lot of playing time."
Perry, a freshman, came back from the illness and is currently batting .239 with one home run and nine RBIs.
Perry and his KSU teammates recently won the South Atlantic region championship and will be playing in the NCAA Division II World Series.
The Owls also feature another Jonesboro graduate, Shane Hartness, who is a senior.
The Owls (38-16) play their first game Sunday against the University of California Davis (35-22) at Patterson Field in Montgomery, Ala.
"He's been through a lot and I'm glad he's got to play this year," Corr said. "We're glad he got his strength back and it's been pretty good for him. I just wish he hadn't gotten sick."
While Ryan is playing at KSU, his older brother Jason is with the Toronto Blue Jays' Class A affiliate in Dunedin, Fla.
Jason was injured earlier in the season but has come on strong lately. He was batting .150 but has brought his batting average up to .273.
"He's on a pretty good-sized hitting streak now," Corr said. "He's really done well."
He recently got a hit off David Cone, the former Major Leaguer who is rehabbing in the minors.
"Jason went 1-for-2 off David Cone a week ago," Corr said. "I think that's something really good for him and that's going to be a highlight for him."
Corr looks forward to seeing his former players succeed at the next level.
"It's great," he said. "I've gone to see Jason a couple of times. We were in Melbourne (Fla.) and he happened to be in town for one night when we were there. It's good for our guys to see him and see what he's accomplishing."
Last year, Perry played in the NCAA Division I College World Series with Georgia Tech before being drafted by Toronto.
"(Ryan and Jason) are good people and they're good students," Corr said. "They worked very hard to get where they got. They've made themselves into real good players. I'm really proud of both of them."