TREMPEALEAU COUNTY, Wisconsin – A Cardinals pitch prospect is recovering after being bitten by a black bear while archery in Wisconsin.

Dalton Roach, a 25-year-old right-hander from the Springfield Cardinals, told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram it was the first time he had seen a bear on the family lands he had hunted in years.

Roach told the newspaper he was in a tree about 20 feet above the ground and grabbed his cell phone to document the encounter.

Roach initially said that the bear was just walking around, but when he walked about 20 yards away he turned around and came straight under his tree.

“I thought, ‘OK, it’s time to put the phone away. I want to have my hands free now, ”Roach told the newspaper.

He said he then heard scratching sounds and realized the bear was climbing the tree and heading towards him.

Roach said the next thing he knew the bear was right behind him and he could feel it breathing on his back.

“Then I feel a paw on my knees. He just left the paw sitting there, so it’s not like I want to take a big step and squeeze it, ”he told the newspaper.

Roach said that as he felt the equipment on his back tighten, he realized the bear was biting him. He decided he had to do something to try to break free.

He had always heard that bears were more afraid of people than the other way around. Roach told the newspaper he had made himself as tall as he could and started screaming.

Roach said it worked because the bear backed away.

He said once the bear was out of sight, he walked over to his truck.

“I think I still had so much adrenaline that there wasn’t a lot of pain and I could tell there wasn’t a lot of blood flowing,” Dalton told the Telegram-Leader.

He went to the hospital to have the wound examined. Staff cleaned up the bite, gave it antibiotics and a tetanus vaccine. He also received his first of what will be 22 injections of the rabies vaccine.

Dalton said during the incident he was focused on his release. Afterwards, he admits that he thought that if the bear had been more aggressive, he might not be looking forward to pursuing a career in the big leagues or spending time with his family.