FORMER ASTROS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER DIES!

HE WAS STRUCK BY A BASEBALL!

Mike Coolbaugh, first-base coach with the Class AA Tulsa Drillers and a former Astros minor leaguer as a third baseman, died Sunday night after being hit in the head by a ball during a game, police said. He was 35.

The game was suspended in the ninth inning after Coolbaugh was struck by a hard-hit foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez and taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock.

Phil Elson, spokesman for the Travelers, said Coolbaugh was struck by the ball on the right side of his head, or on the forehead – “I’m getting conflicting reports,” he said – and fell to the ground immediately.

According to a report posted on the Drillers’ Web site late Sunday, Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious after being hit and CPR was administered to him on the field.

Coolbaugh was still alive when he was put in the ambulance for the trip to the hospital, but stopped breathing as the ambulance was arriving at there, Sgt. Terry Kuykendall, spokesman for North Little Rock police, said. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

FULLSTORY @ CHRON: http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4989669.html