Hallock Is A Relentless Leader

Hallock Is A Relentless Leader

Article reprinted courtesy of Fargo Forum and reporter Eric Peterson. Picture courtesy of Fargo Forum photographer Dave Samson.

MOORHEAD—Concordia senior Joe Hallock caught nine innings, pitched two more, drove in two runs and threw out a base runner Tuesday, March 28, at Bucky Burgau Baseball Field.

Hallock is thankful for days like that, even though Mayville State earned the 4-3 victory against the Cobbers in 11 innings in nonconference college baseball.

"I am thankful to be playing," Hallock said.

The 22-year-old, who attended high school at Fargo Shanley, had a stroke more than two years ago. That momentarily put his baseball career on hold. Hallock was Concordia's closer last season. This spring, he was cleared to play catcher to go along with pitching duties.

"It's his determination," said Danny Hallock, Joe's father. "He's been determined that he's not going to get beat."

Joe has overcome plenty.

In high school, Joe dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome and had to have a rib removed and vein replacement. After he played two years of junior college baseball in Iowa, he injured his arm the following summer and needed Tommy John surgery.

During his first fall at Concordia, Joe had a stroke in October 2014.

"It's a pretty terrifying thing to see your son go through that," said Kristi Hallock, Joe's mother.

After his stroke, Joe said he was partially paralyzed for a few days.

"It was a little freaky, but everything came back," Joe said.

Joe went 2-for-6 against Mayville State, including an RBI single in the ninth inning that tied the game at 3-3 and forced extra innings. The right-hander pitched a scoreless 10th before allowing a run in the 11th inning. He's batting .318 with four doubles and five RBIs in 13 games this spring. Joe has a 1.69 ERA with one save in four pitching appearances.

"His biggest asset is his leadership," said Cobbers coach Chris Coste, whose team has a 7-7 record. "He's one of those guys, he has natural leadership skills."

Joe has the word "Relentless" tattooed on the inside of one of his forearms. Kristi said that perfectly describes her son.

"He wouldn't be who he is if he wasn't pushing it to limit," Kristi said.

Kristi added there are mixed emotions when she watches Joe play catcher.

"It's wonderful and terrifying at the same time," she said.

Joe, who also played catcher in high school, is happy to be back behind the plate. He's also thankful to have a coach like Coste, a former Major Leaguer who played catcher for most of his professional career.

"He knows so much catching-wise," Joe said. "He always has little things that can make you better."

Joe has embraced being Concordia's primary catcher and closer in his final collegiate season.

"It's been a lot of fun. It's always good to be involved in the game," Joe said.

"Joe has that perfect mentality to handle that," Coste added. "When he has success with both, it's not a surprise."