ROCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – A UMass Lowell baseball player died suddenly Monday night during a summer league practice in Rochester, N.H.
He would have been warming up with his new summer collegiate team in Rochester, New Hampshire getting ready for the season opener on June 9th. But, the teammates of 20-year-old Adam Keenan are mourning his sudden death on the field during their first practice this week.
“We’ll dedicate the season to him and play with a new sense of urgency,” said teammate Tom Chase who was on the field when Keenan collapsed, went into cardiac arrest and died.
Keenan had been recruited for the new Seacoast Mavericks, part of a new summer baseball league with emphasis on promoting New England players.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
Keenan, a native of Lowell, was also a UMass Lowell baseball player and this summer league presented a new opportunity.
“He was as strong as an ox,” said friend Aramis Velez. “He’d go out there and give 100 percent every time.”
But, his teammates watched in horror as Keenan suddenly collapsed on the field after their first workout together.
“All of a sudden Adam was down. All of us were just praying and doing whatever we could to help out the situation,” said Chase.
Team president Bob Stanley says it was a light workout and Adam threw some pitches and did batting practice. A preliminary autopsy shows he had an enlarged heart.
The decision to go ahead with a scrimmage against the Westford Willow was encouraged by Adam’s parents, said Stanley.
“I think Adam would want that. I know his parents wanted it. We’ll keep plugging along and keep him in our minds and play for him,” he said.
His UMass Lowell number was “15″, and that shirt was set aside when players chose their new shirts for the Mavericks.
The tragedy is hitting home with everyone.
“We’re ready to be on the field, be together as a team and be a good support system for each other,” said Chase.
His UMass Lowell coach Kenneth Harring describes Adam as a positive player loved by his coaches.
“Adam’s teammates and I are overcome by the loss,” he said.
Keenan is survived by his parents, Michael and Audrey of Lowell, and older sister, Christine. His friends have set up a Facebook page in his memory.