Two members of Georgia’s LaGrange College baseball team were killed in a car crash Saturday night, hours after the team qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship tournament.
Jacob Brown, 19, Duluth, Ga. And Stephen Bertolota, 18, of Palm City, Fla., Was a first-year student at a small college 60 miles southwest of Atlanta. Brown pitched LaGrange’s 10-to-7 home-field win against Wesleyan College of North Carolina to win the USA South Conference Tournament Championship that afternoon.
Troop County, Ga. Three were involved in three car crashes near the town of LaGrange and the college Brown and Bertolota were the only occupants of a car and were pronounced dead at the scene. Another driver, Rico Dunn, 24, was also killed, Georgia State Patrol officials told Wagah-TV in Atlanta.
Lagrange president Susanna Baxter and campus chaplain Adam Roberts hosted a gathering for students, faculty and staff at a campus hall on Sunday. “We’re trying to help our students work on some really, really hard news processing … It was an opportunity to express emotions so that kids can start getting something out of it,” LaGrange spokesman Dean Hartman told Wagah.
“We will walk through it together as a campus family with God as our strength. Please support each other as a caring community that I know we are, “Baxter wrote in a letter to the campus community.
LaGrange’s first game in the NCAA Tournament is scheduled for Friday. There was no immediate word on whether the game will be played or whether LaGrange will participate.