The Arizona Wildcats were down to their final out Sunday when pinch hitter Steve Selsky grabbed a bat and limped toward home plate, determined to deliver a Hollywood ending.
Coach Andy Lopez believed, too.
"I guess I've watched 'The Natural' too much," he said.
Selsky and Lopez should have known the end result, a strikeout and loss to Stanford, was coming.
Three months into a junior season from hell, Selsky isn't catching any breaks.
Injuries to Selsky's wrist and, more recently, his hamstring have limited the UA's right fielder and cleanup hitter to just 15 starts in the Wildcats' 52 games. He is hitting .215, the worst of any player on the team with 65 or more at-bats.
Selsky will be available to pinch hit this weekend, when Arizona hosts Washington in the final series of the regular season, but his long-term role remains undetermined. Arizona (33-19, 12-12 Pac-10) will learn its NCAA regional fate Monday.
The Star talked to Selsky, 21, about his rehabilitation, recovery and role.
On his nagging hamstring injury: "Man, I don't even know how long my hamstring's been hurt. I do remember taking pre-game against Alcorn State when they were here (earlier this month). I came off the field, and it started swelling up. It was all black and blue. I had pulled it again. It's something you have to face and move on. It's been a bad year, but it's not going to stop me from playing the game."
On his role this weekend: "I'm going to pinch hit until I'm hopefully, someday, ready to run and help these guys. It's a pinch-hit role right now, and it's day-by- day."
On whether he could eventually DH: "That's the next question. That would be the next step to run a decent 90 (feet) so I can run the bases. But that's a day-to-day thing."
On how his perspective has changed since getting hurt: "I try not to have it change at all, but come on: It's something you need to accept and change, and try to face. You need to stay positive, know you're still going to be able to play (again). It's not the end of the world. There are worse things you're going to have to face in life than an injury in a sport. It's unfortunate, but, you know, I try not to let it mentally faze me in any way."
On whether he'll sign with a big-league club or return to the UA next season: "I don't know. (The injury) has altered the thought. I can't see the future. I don't know what's going to happen."
On watching from the bench: "It (stinks) watching when you want to play but can't because of circumstances that you can't control, circumstances that won't let you. It's not fun, but you have to back your guys and do things that can help them in any way possible. Maybe that's watching the pitcher to see what he's doing."
On his prospects: "I feel good in BP; the only thing left is just getting the leg ready to play. My hand feels 100 percent. Now, the question is, can the hamstring find a way?"
• What: Washington at Arizona
• When: 6 p.m. today, 6 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday
• Radio: Games on 1290-AM