Vanderbilt pitcher Donny Everett died in a drowning accident on Thursday evening. He was 19 years old.
The Commodore freshman was swimming across Normandy Lake with four friends, two of whom were teammates on the baseball team. He dipped below the surface about halfway through the trip and didn't resurface.
Here's the university's official statement from Vice Chancellor David Williams.
We learned last night of the tragic death of Donny Everett, an outstanding young man who exemplified the best of our university. As you can imagine, the team, the athletic department and the university are trying to come to terms with this tragedy. His parents and loved ones are on our minds and in our prayers as we share in their grief.
Everett turned down a likely first round slot in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft to attend Vanderbilt instead. Though he dealt with injuries in his first season with the Commodores, he still struck out 13 batters in 12 innings and was expected to play a role out of the bullpen as Vanderbilt prepares for the upcoming Nashville Regional. The 'Dores will still play Xavier at 7 p.m. this evening after deliberating on whether or not to postpone the game as the team mourns.
Tonight’s game against Xavier will be played as scheduled at 7 p.m. at Hawkins Field.— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBaseball) June 3, 2016
First, they'll head west to Clarksville to be with the Everett family during this trying time.
I'm told Vandy's baseball team is taking a bus to Clarksville to be with the family of Donny Everett. Then will return in time for the game.— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisWSMV) June 3, 2016
This tragedy goes much deeper than just the baseball team. Everett was a special person who meticulously invested in a future that will never come. On Friday, Twitter swelled with condolences and remembrances of the young man.
Prayers go out to Donny Everett. RIP man you will be missed #AnchorDown— Joejuan Williams (@JoejuanW) June 3, 2016
Great baseball player... But a better Friend. I'm lost for words right now. Rest In Peace Donny Everett.— Deon Sanders (@Its_PrimeTime2) June 3, 2016
Still can't believe this happened... Probably one of the better guys on and off the field that I've ever met. Rest in peace, Donny Everett.— alex brewer (@alex_brewer09) June 3, 2016
Rest in peace Donny Everett. Gone way to soon and had way to much ahead.. I will miss you my friend.. Can't even believe this happened..— Bryce Denton (@brycedenton25) June 3, 2016
Deeply saddened and in shock by the news... My prayers and thoughts go out to the Everett family... He was a great kid w/ amazing talent.— Carson Fulmer (@Carson_Fulmer) June 3, 2016
Donny was a special ballplayer but an even better person who was poised to do amazing things! Rest in paradise DE https://t.co/r1mP6XYhQv— Beedah (@tylerbeede) June 3, 2016
These thoughts poured in from across the world of college baseball, as well.
We join Vanderbilt in mourning the loss of Donny Everett. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates. pic.twitter.com/6Y3nmuPl7h— NCAA (@NCAA) June 3, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are with @VandyBaseball and the family of freshman pitcher Donny Everett, who passed away yesterday.— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) June 3, 2016
Everett is the second Vanderbilt athlete to succumb to drowning in just over a year. Former basketball player Dai-Jon Parker passed away after a rafting accident in Indianapolis last May.
Our condolences go out to the Everett family, his friends, and everyone whose lives were touched by this young man who was taken too soon from us. It is with a heavy heart we'll watch the Nashville Regional, constantly aware of the missing piece in the Vanderbilt dugout. You will not be forgotten, Donny Everett.