Josh McCouch doesn't like to talk too much about the pneumonia that cost him his junior season of baseball.

Or the shin splints that cost him as a cross-country runner. Or the stress fracture in his back that shortened his senior season as a wrestler and nearly ended his high school baseball career.

The Overbrook athlete prefers to stay positive. He's back on the field, he's hitting the baseball with authority and he's part of a team that has designs on a special season.

That's good enough for him.

"I'm trying to make up for it," McCouch said of the missed time that has been a frustrating part of his athletic career at Overbrook.

McCouch is doing just that. After a slow start likely related to the stress fracture that limited him in the preseason, the centerfielder is 10 for 30 (.333 average) with four doubles, 12 RBIs, and nine runs.

On Saturday, McCouch was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs as Overbrook (7-2) won its sixth in a row with a 9-2 victory over Maple Shade.

"He's such a talented kid," Overbrook coach Chuck Marciano said of McCouch. "He hit around .350 for us as a sophomore, and he had three or four homers as a freshman.

"It was tough for him not to be able to play last year but he's done a nice job coming back."

The 6-foot, 195-pound McCouch nearly missed his senior season. He was shut down in February after a back injury in wrestling was revealed to be a stress fracture.

"At first they said I would probably be out for at least three months," said McCouch, who knew such an extended absence likely would have cost him his last baseball season with the Rams.

Through rest, rehabilitation and regular visits to a chiropractor, McCouch was only out for about a month. But it was March 14 by the time he was able to swing bat, and nearly a month after that before he began to feel like his old self.

"I was stiff at first," McCouch said. "But once I was able to swing again, it was a big relief."

McCouch and shortstop/pitcher Shane Graham are part of a group of eight Overbrook seniors who are determined to make the most of their final season.

The Rams are off to a hot start and sit smack dab in the middle of a crowded field of contenders in the Colonial Conference's Liberty Division.

"We've been playing together for a long time," McCouch said. "We're trying to do something special in our last season."

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