Two members of a baseball team at Lagrange College in Georgia were killed in a car crash Saturday night, hours after the team qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship tournament.
19-year-old Jacob Brown of Duluth, Georgia, and 18-year-old Stephen Bartalotta of Palm City, Florida, were freshmen at a small college 60 miles southwest of Atlanta. That day Brown performed that day in Lagrange’s 10: 7 home win over Wesleyan College of North Carolina to win the championship in the U.S. Southern Conference.
Three vehicles crashed in Trapp County, Georgia, where the city of Lagrange and the college are located. Brown and Bartalota were the only people in one of the vehicles and were pronounced dead at the scene. Another driver, 24-year-old Rick Dunn, was also killed by Georgia State Patrol told Atlanta WAGA-TV.
LaGrange President Susanna Baxter and campus chaplain Adam Roberts hosted a meeting for students, faculty and staff on Sunday at the campus assembly hall. “We’re just trying to help our students work on some really, really hard news … it was a chance to express emotions so kids could start realizing something out of it,” Lagarange spokesman Dean Hartman told WAGA.
“We will go through this together as a family on campus with God as our strength. Please support each other as a caring community I know, ”Baxter wrote in a a letter to the campus community.
Lagrange’s first game in the NCAA tournament is scheduled for Friday. It was not immediately announced whether the game will continue or whether Lagrange will participate.