Wolf Pack player dies

RENO - A freshman pitcher for the Nevada Wolf Pack died Tuesday at a Reno hospital after being rushed there the night before with undisclosed injuries, school officials said.

Steve Masten, 18, who starred at Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, was reported in critical condition at Washoe Medical Center earlier Tuesday before he died there later in the day, school officials said.

School spokeswoman Rhonda Lundin said university officials would not discuss any of the details surrounding Masten's death.

She referred calls to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, which did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The school earlier announced that Nevada's game scheduled Tuesday at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., was canceled because of Masten's hospitalization.

As a senior in high school, Masten was named northern Nevada's pitcher of the year in Class 4-A for the largest schools and was considered a pro prospect.

"Steven was a wonderful student-athlete with a bright future," Nevada coach Gary Powers said in a statement released by the athletic department late Tuesday afternoon.

"He will be deeply missed by everyone in the Wolf Pack baseball family. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family," he said.

Powers told the Reno Gazette-Journal Monday night the hospitalization was the result of an "unfortunate incident within the program." But school officials refused to discuss the nature of the incident or the injuries sustained.

Nevada athletic director Cary Groth said the university community wanted to extend its deepest sympathy to Masten's family.

"Our priority is to provide whatever support we can to his family, our student-athletes and coaching staff," Groth said in a statement.

The athletic administrator at his high school in Spanish Springs, a suburb north of Reno, said the incident was "very saddening" and came as "quite a shock."

"We are just shaking our heads and can't believe it," Doug Parry told the Gazette-Journal.

"This hits us all pretty hard. Obviously our baseball team is aware of it. We are prepared here through our counseling offices and the school district resources to help the students here try to deal with this," he said.

Masten last pitched for Nevada on April 14 against Hawaii. He was 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA this season. His first collegiate win came March 18 with 3 1/3 innings of relief in a 17-10 victory over Northern Illinois at Reno.

Masten chose to attend Nevada out of high school after being recruited by UCLA, Pepperdine and Santa Clara. He was touted as a major league prospect but went undrafted in MLB's amateur draft last June.

He lettered three years in baseball and twice in basketball at Spanish Springs. As a senior last year, he was the Northern 4A pitcher of the year, going 7-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings.

Lundin said she expected Nevada's three-game series at home against San Jose State to continue as scheduled Friday through Sunday.

She requested that media refrain from contacting any coaches or student athletes for comment.


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