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Georgia catcher John Cable (42) runs to first during a baseball game between the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Apr. 5, 2019. (Photo by Kristin M. Bradshaw)

John Cable always dreamed of playing baseball for the University of Georgia.

The River Ridge product may not have taken the most direct route to chase his goals, but now that he is there, the graduate transfer is making the most out of his lone season for the Bulldogs.

“It’s always been a dream for me to come here and play at Georgia,” Cable said. “They offered me spot. I decided to come here, and it’s just been an amazing year. It was a great decision. Growing up, I always watched Georgia in the College World Series. I always wanted to come here and play. I got that opportunity, and I’m just blessed to be here.”

More than just enjoying the experience, Cable has become a key cog in the lineup for No. 5 Georgia.

The designated hitter has appeared in 33 of 37 games for the Bulldogs and has hit .280 with a team-high nine doubles, four home runs and 24 RBIs.

““It’s been a lot of fun,” Cable said. “We’ve gone through a lot. It’s a testament to how resilient we’ve been. We’ve had guys go down, but this team is a different breed. We’ve handled the pressure and guys going down. To be a part of a winning team that has an opportunity to do something great is an incredible feeling.”

Cable might be enjoying the experience more than most, though, considering he once thought he might never play again.

Out of high school, Cable spent two seasons at Darton State in Albany and transferred to the University of New Orleans his junior year.

After earning all-conference honors at both schools, Cable was preparing for his senior season playing summer ball in Waterloo, Iowa, when injury struck.

“I was playing first base,” he said. “I went to stretch for a ball and felt a pop in my hamstring. It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I could barely walk or sit down.”

Cable had torn three ligaments in his hamstring and needed reconstructive surgery and a full year of rehab.

A return to baseball was always the motivation behind Cable’s recovery, but there were doubts he would ever play again.

“I had a great physical therapist and a great strength coach,” he said. “They wanted to make me stronger and not reinjure it. They’ve helped me a lot. I was wondering if I would ever get to play again. It’s a tough feeling. It was definitely in the back of my mind.”

While missing his senior season in New Orleans was a hit, the injury did open up the possibility of becoming a graduate transfer at Georgia.

Cable said it took some time to adjust to his new surroundings and the amount of talent on the field with him.

“The competition is good. I’ve seen the same level, but here it’s deeper,” he said. “There’s a lot more of it. Especially in the SEC, they keep rolling out arms in the low-mid 90s. You’ve seen that before, but there’s just so much more of it here.”

So far, Cable and his teammates have been able to handle the opposing talent pretty successfully.

The Bulldogs (29-8, 10-5) sit atop the conference, and with about a month left in the regular season, Cable is intent on making sure his dream season has its dream ending.

“I think we’re capable of winning it all,” he said. “We can’t look ahead to that, but we definitely have the talent. We have to take it day by day, but our ultimate goal is to get to Omaha and win the College World Series. I think we have the guys on this team if we play with energy to our full potential.”

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