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North Harford senior Justin Gue was aching for final baseball season after missing 2019 with broken leg

North Harford baseball player Justin Gue runs through a few plays at his familiar position of second base. Gue was looking forward to a productive senior season until the coronavirus pandemic took over and ended the Spring high school athletic season.
North Harford baseball player Justin Gue runs through a few plays at his familiar position of second base. Gue was looking forward to a productive senior season until the coronavirus pandemic took over and ended the Spring high school athletic season. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

A little more than a year ago, North Harford junior baseball player Justin Gue suffered a season-ending leg injury on a play at home plate.

The injury, a break to the lower left leg, which required surgery, left Gue to ponder his final baseball season at North Harford, which as it turns out, lasted all of two weeks.

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Gue and his teammates have watched like everyone else, a season, a senior season, gone without a single regular season pitch.

“This season we all had big expectations for everyone, everything. We knew last season was rough because we had a kid get kicked off, I broke my leg, a lot of downfalls,” Gue said. “But this season we thought was the one. We thought we had a really good, talented team and we wanted to go pretty far this year.”

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The Hawks were still feeling the sting from last season’s final game, a nine-inning loss in region semifinal action.

But of course, Gue could only watch from the dugout of Yankee Stadium at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen.

Gue recalls that moment last season when a dash from third to home resulted in the injury.

“I was on third base and it was a sac fly and I was tagging up. I went home and the outfielder threw it, all the way to the catcher and I collided with the catcher,” Gue said. “I just heard the pop and I knew something was wrong. At that moment I stood up, started walking and my leg went down and I knew something was up and I just laid there.”

Gue says he had never had a broken bone prior. “I tried to get up and walk it off, but I knew something wasn’t quite right,” he said.

The break required a surgery to install a rod and two screws. Gue says he has an option to have the screws removed, but the rod is a permanent part of him.

So, surgery was done and what was the prognosis for the two-sport athlete? Gue, a second baseman on the baseball field is a center back on the soccer field.

“They said 4-6 months, I wouldn’t have been able to play soccer either, but I actually recovered quicker than they said,” Gue said. “I recovered in like three months and I was on the soccer field way before, like anything that they thought. I was playing and got my senior started up.”

The thought that he could be sidelined until this recent lost Spring season just wasn’t going to work for Gue.

“I did everything that physical therapy told me to, did it at home, by my myself, was working out at the gym, while I wasn’t playing, just extra things,” he said.

That led to being ready for and playing his senior soccer season with an eye on his key sport, baseball.

There were no setbacks to the leg in soccer.

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Healthy and ready, Gue joined his teammates to open the 2020 season with the opening day of practice on Feb. 29.

In what amounted to basically two weeks of a baseball season, Gue was pleased with what he had done. “Good,” he said of the start. “I led off my first game back with a single up the middle, line drive, and went 2-for-5 that day, very successful day.”

Just like that, though, it was over and Gue was left like so many others, to wonder what if?, Why?

And he misses it. “Probably the atmosphere of my teammates and the hard work leadership that everyone brings. They drove us, they pushed us, the coaches did. It was just so great and I might not play this sport again,” Gue said. “Which is very devastating, but I’m glad I played this year for the time I had.”

Upon graduation, Gue’s future plans take him to Harford Community College where he he says he’s playing soccer and not baseball.

His field of study is ‘up in the air bouncing around’ but probably business. Gue isn’t sure of the next step after two years at HCC.

Gue is the middle child with a younger brother Zackary and older sister Alexis.

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