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Published:April 10th, 2009 10:16 EST
Baseball Mourns The Loss of Angels' Rookie Ace Nick Adenhart

Baseball Mourns The Loss of Angels' Rookie Ace Nick Adenhart

By Christopher HIllenbrand

Hours after he pitched 6 scoreless innings in a game the Angels eventually lost to the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two other people were killed in an auto accident on Thursday.

According to authorities, Adenhart was behind the wheel of a silver Mitsubishi sports car with three passengers when a minivan ran a red light at an intersection, colliding into the sports car and another vehicle at the scene. The Mitsubishi spun out of control and slammed into a telephone pole.

University of California, Irvine Medical Center spokesman John Murray said that the 22-year-old pitcher and his three acquaintances were life-flighted to the university`s medical center moments following the accident.

Two of the three passengers with Adenhart were pronounced dead on arrival. Murray said that Adenhart was admitted for emergency surgery but passed away shortly afterwards.

The fourth person in the car remains in critical condition at the UC Irvine Medical Center.

L.A.P.D. spokesman, Lieutenant Craig Brower said that after the collision, the minivan`s driver sped off before officers finally stopped the vehicle and charged the driver with felony hit-and-run.

Representatives for the Los Angeles Angels verified the tragic news at a press junket and announced that none of the other Angels` players were in the car at the time of the accident.

Angels` GM Tony Reagins solemnly spoke of how the team was dealt a heartwrenching blow: "The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick`s family, friends, loved ones and fans."

Adenhart was drafted straight out of high school back in 2004, and plowed through the ranks of the minor league system before coming up last season. Before being called up to the Majors, Adenhart had a 37-28 record from 2005 thru 2008.

In 2008, he posted a record of 1-0, a 9.00 ERA, and 13 walks compared to only 4 strikeouts.

Though he didn`t put up stellar numbers last year, the right-hander dazzled Angels` manager Mike Scioscia in spring training and garnered the number three spot in the starting rotation.

Adenhart is survived by his parents, Jim and Janet Adenhart who still reside in his hometown of Silver Springs, Maryland.

The pitcher`s family praised Nick as someone who lived life to the fullest in his short time in this life: "He lived his dream and was blessed to be pat of an organization comprised of such warm, caring, and compassionate people."

To pay tribute to the memory of Adelhart, the Minnesota Twins observed a moment of silence before they faced the Seatte Mariners today, and the Texas Rangers also paid their respects in the same fashion before their home game against the Cleveland Indians.