Cornell's Sam Kornstad battling genetic disorder since birth

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - Cornell senior pitcher Sam Kornstad has had no problems getting opponents out for the last month, but his biggest opponent is something he's dealt with since birth.

I'll get an upset stomach, but in my case, it lasts a couple of more days," said Kornstad.

He was born with jejunal atresia, which is a genetic disorder involving the small intestines. Doctors performed 10 surgeries and he wasn't released from the hospital until five months after he was born. To this day, he still deals with flare-ups from the disorder.

In the beginning of the season, he dealt with his worst flare-up before a series in Chicago.

"I was scheduled to pitch that Saturday. And that Friday night, everything just took a turn for the worst," he said.

Kornstad was taken to the emergency room and doctors discovered he had a major blockage in his intestines. They used an NG tube to clear everything and avoided surgery.

He lost 20 pounds after the procedure, but has worked hard to get back to form. In his last four starts, he's pitched two complete games and collected 21 strikeouts He also earned first-team all-conference and is ready to help the Rams in their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"He throws game two for us, but he's actually our No. 1," said head coach Seth Wing. "The reason why he throws game two is because he's either in the winner's bracket of a regional game or face an elimination; and I don't want anyone else throwing that game except Sam Kornstad.

The Rams face Washington University at 10 a.m. on Friday.