Bath high school baseball player dies after collision at second base

Associated Press

A teenage baseball player has died nearly two weeks after he was knocked unconscious during a collision at second base.

Cooper Gardner, a junior at Bath High School, died Sunday at home, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Cooper Gardner

“I never would have thought it would lead to this,” said junior varsity coach Michael Collins.

The school said on Facebook that Cooper suffered a brain injury on April 21 during a game between Bath and Portland St. Patrick.

Cooper was trying to catch the ball and tag a runner at second base when he was struck in the head in a collision, Collins said.

A GoFundMe page described it as a “freak accident.”

“I’ve never witnessed something like that,” Collins said. “You just always read about things going wrong, but you never think it’s going to be one of your kids.”

It is the first death connected to a Michigan school baseball game since 1989 when sports-related deaths were tracked, the Michigan High School Athletic Association said.

Cooper’s teammates, family and friends gathered Monday at the baseball field, about 15 miles northeast of Lansing.

“We’re here to offer space and support with whatever they might need,” principal Matthew Dodson said. “As you can expect, they’re absolutely devastated.”