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A professional baseball player from Eau Claire went from being the hunter to the hunted when a black bear attacked him in western Wisconsin. 

Dalton Roach, who pitched at Minnesota State-Mankato and is now a Double-A starter in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, was bow-hunting in Trempaleau County on Saturday, Oct. 16 when he spotted a black bear. 

Roach was in a tree stand 20-feet off the ground. Before he knew it, the bear had climbed the tree and was moments from attacking. 

“The next thing I know I can hear him right behind me and feel him breathing on my back,” Roach told the Leader-Telegram. “Then I feel a paw on my lap. He just kind of left the paw sitting there, so it’s not like I wanted to make a big move and make him squeeze.”

The bear then bit into his back, leaving puncture wounds that he later had treated at Mayo Clinic Health Systems. Roach told the Leader-Telegram that he spun around and screamed at the bear, luckily convincing it to flee. 

Roach sent a photo of his wound to KMOX (the Cardinals radio home). 

In four years at Mankato, Roach went 30-7 with a 2.49 ERA. He struck out 371 batters in 281.2 innings. 

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