ECU Retires Jersey of Fallen Baseball Player - - No One Gets You Closer

ECU Retires Jersey of Fallen Baseball Player


ADA, OK--It's been almost seven months since a Texoma college baseball player was gunned down and killed. KTEN met with the team today to talk about how its players are doing, and to discuss a very special tribute.

It was last August when 22-year-old Chris Lane--a baseball player at East Central University--was killed in a drive-by shooting in Duncan, Oklahoma.

"I thought it might have been someone else," said lockermate Ethan Gold. "Disbelief ran through me. Something I hadn't felt before."

Junior baseball player Cale Russell said, "It didn't seem real."

Now almost seven months later, the university and athletic staff are retiring Lane's number seven jersey.

"It was good to commemorate the game to him, show that we care about him and we think about him every day," said Russell.

Head coach Dino Rosato said: "Heavy hearts, but it was well-needed. I just wish we could have done more."

ECU hosted the ceremony Wednesday night with a game between the Tigers and the Redland Cougars--where Lane played three seasons. After the ninth inning, both teams helped retire his jerseys.

"I don't think anyone that comes through is going to replace the type of person that Lane was," said Gold. "And with such an event like that, he needs to be remembered. People need to know."

Coach Rosato says he is proud of the progress his team is making both on and off the field.

"You know, the boys they're resilient," he said. "And they use the locker room and the ball diamond as healing for them."

Players say they are holding their heads high and playing each game in memory of their fallen friend and teammate.

"Lane will never be forgotten," said Gold. "And this season and every season after that, once a Tiger always a Tiger."

Three teens are in custody awaiting trial charged with first degree murder. Lane's father flew in from Australia to attend Wednesday night's ceremony. This will be the Tigers' first season without Lane.