Tragedy struck a Bemidji baseball field over the weekend when a 15-year-old pitcher died after he was hit by a line drive.
Zacharie Schaubhut was treated by first responders at the field but died later at a Fargo hospital, his grandfather, Steven Schaubhut, told the Bemidji Pioneer.
While Schaubhut died after he was struck by the ball, the cause of his death is not yet clear. Sources told Lakeland Public Television a separate health issue caused his death. WCCO reports the Bemidji Youth Baseball League also cited an undetected medical condition as the cause.
The following statement on the Youth Baseball League's Facebook page also confirmed the death:
"It is with a heavy heart that our Northern Heat family asks for prayers for the family & friends of Zacharie Schaubhut. May God's love heal your sorrow & may His peace replace your heartache with warm and loving memories. Zach has gone to play at that big field in the sky. May the skies be blue, the grass be mowed & the umpires make the right calls. Until we meet again... "
WDAY reports Zacharie was playing in a pickup game with friends that was not organized by any league.
Bemidji Youth Baseball League president Bruce Dahlin tells the station that Zacharie's family had moved to Iowa last fall, but he'd recently returned to stay with his grandparents in Bemidji, where he hoped to make a summer league team.
Dahlin told WDAY Zacharie Schaubhut was a star player and said of those playing alongside him: “Those kids are sure reeling at this point in time because he was a very wonderful kid.”
Dahlin tells WDAY it's too early to say whether Zacharie's death will lead to any changes in safety equipment or protection for players.