RAYMOND, MS - The Hinds Community College baseball team is mourning the loss of pitcher Chase Wroten who died late Friday afternoon.
Wroten, 19-year old sophomore from Terry, was hospitalized Wednesday, April 13, after collapsing on Joe G. Moss Baseball Field on the Raymond Campus, shortly after entering the game in the 7th inning as the relief pitcher.
Players and coaches of the close-knit team are grappling with this sudden and tragic loss.
Teammates had kept vigil at the University Medical Center since Wednesday.
Head Coach Sam Temple said the team is reeling with emotions, shattered by the death of their friend. "Our hearts are breaking for this family. Chase was a remarkable young man with a promising future. It's difficult to accept that he's gone." Temple said.
"We are hurting. Chase affected so many people in his short life, and I know he affected me. When you think of Chase Wroten you cannot help but smile. That's the way he made you feel. That's what we are going to miss," Temple said.
During his first year as the head coach for the Eagles, Temple and his team coped with the death of two players, Marc Basye and Drew Carlisle, who were killed an automobile accident in spring 2006.
"Being a member of team doesn't make a player's death any easier, but the team can be there for the family because these guys know each other so well; it's like a family. That's where we are now, just being there for the Wroten family," Temple said.
The college cancelled the baseball team's scheduled Saturday game against Gulf Coast.
"This is truly a tragic loss for the Wroten family, and it is felt throughout the Hinds Community College family as well," said athletic director Gene Murphy.
Hinds CC counselors have been meeting with the team, along with its volunteer chaplain, Brian Emory.
"When you lose a friend so suddenly and in a tragic way like we lost Chase, it can be very difficult to understand what God's plan is," said Emory. "I stressed to the team that as empty as they feel right now, they can depend on God to give them rest."
Comfort also comes in talking about their friend, "Chase had an infectious personality and was well-liked and respected by everyone that knew him," said Hinds assistant coach Dan Rives.
"The amount of text messages and phone calls we have received over the last two days shows how much of an impact he had."
Information from Hinds Community College