Linden, Tennessee — Stephen Gant, a 19-year-old right handed-pitcher who was one of the country’s top high school baseball prospects, has died of an apparent suicide.
The Riverside High School senior was found dead Tuesday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Jackson Sun reports.
Perry County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Nick Weems told the newspaper that they received a 911 call about 12:30pm Tuesday in reference to a man walking down a nearby road with a gun and threatening to commit suicide.
“We found the body of Stephen Gant about 30 feet from the roadway with a gunshot wound,” Weems said. “We do believe at this time that it was self-inflicted; however, we will continue to investigate to look at other possibilities to make sure it was suicide.”
The officer added that Gant’s body was discovered in front of a gate near a wooded area, and his truck was found on the other side of the road parked in a driveway and still running, about 100 feet from his body.
Gant, projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, signed with the Vanderbilt Commodores last fall and was scheduled to join the team after graduation.
“This stops you right in your tracks,” Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin said in a statement after hearing of Gant’s death. “These are life occurrences that can’t be explained… there are no ‘do-overs.’ We are all deeply saddened for Gloria, Tony, his brothers and sister, as well as the many friends that Stephen had. All we can do is be supportive for the family and be there for them.”
The Jackson Sun writes that on the field, Stephen Gant was a competitor who went out each game with the intent of recording 21 strikeouts in a perfect game. There were plenty of days when he came close to it.
The young pitcher was named The Sun’s Player of the Year the past three years and was probably on his way to garnering a fourth award.
Image and source: Jackson Sun