Elliott Avent lost the battle with a copperhead snake in his front yard on Wednesday night but he won the war.
The N.C. State baseball coach suffered a snake bite on his ankle while walking his puppy, Sammi, on Wednesday in his Raleigh neighborhood and will miss this weekend’s series at Louisville.
Avent, who is in his 20th season at N.C. State, has never missed a game before. Associate coach Chris Hart will manage the team in the three-game ACC series with the Cardinals.
Avent, 60, is expected to be back with the team for next week’s home series with North Carolina.
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“I’m fine, I just need to rest,” Avent said on Thursday. “I’m just mad more than anything else. I’ve coached through a concussion and kidney stones. I’ve never missed a game in my life.”
Avent was lucky to have survived his encounter with the copperhead relatively unscathed. The snake? Not so much.
Here’s what happened, according to Avent, who was home on Thursday and resting on doctor’s orders:
Avent took Sammi, his 10-week old mixed Labrador Retriever, for a walk on Wednesday night. The puppy riled up a copperhead in Avent’s front yard of his Glen Eden neighborhood.
The snake bit Sammi on the nose. Avent reached down to pull the dog away from the snake. Avent wasn’t quite quick enough to elude the snake, who bit Avent on his right ankle.
The most unbelievable part of the story is what Avent did next. Avent thought he had to bring the snake with him to the hospital so the doctors (and veterinarian for Sammy) would know what kind of snake bite it was.
So Avent went back and hit the snake with a stick. He ended up killing the snake with an umbrella, putting it in a bag and bringing it to the hospital.
“I’ve watched too many Western movies, I don’t know, that’s what I thought I was supposed to do,” Avent said. “I brought the snake in a bag into the hospital and they were like, ‘Get that thing out of here.’ ”
Avent spent about six hours at the hospital on Wednesday and was released after 3 a.m. on Thursday morning.
He’s now home resting with Sammi, who’s fine.
The doctors advice was to rest for 48 to 72 hours, which he’s which meant Avent will have to miss one of the most important series of the season.
“It just kind of stinks that I can’t be there,” Avent said. “But I know Chris will do a great job.”
The first game between N.C. State, ranked No. 10 this week by D1Baseball.com, and No. 6 Louisville is Friday at 6 p.m.