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Fast Action Likely Saved USD Player : Officers Applaud Teammates’ Care

In the moments after a University of San Diego pitcher was struck in the head by a batted ball in a pickup game last Saturday, quick and decisive action by teammates may have saved his life.

Adam Schwindt, 20, is in a drug-induced coma in intensive care at Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery last Saturday to alleviate a blood clot near his brain.

Emergency care began on the field with Schwindt’s teammates.

“Security officers at the school told me when they got there they saw 22 mature young men who . . . had the situation completely under control,” said John Cunningham, USD’s baseball coach. “The first thing (the players) did was stop the bleeding. Then they treated him for shock and kept him from swallowing his tongue. They did all those things you’re supposed to do.”

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Soon after, paramedics arrived and took Schwindt to Sharp, where he would undergo three hours of surgery. A couple of USD players also went to the hospital to assist with any information that might have been required.

Cunningham, who drives the bus for USD’s football team, was at a game in Claremont at the time of the accident.

“A remark made to me at the hospital,” Cunningham said later, “was that the speed with which Adam received medical attention was definitely in his favor.”

It is also favorable that his condition is now serious rather than critical.

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Said Cunningham: “The last I had heard is the swelling is starting to go down. He has tried to open his eyes, and he tried to sit up. But they want him to remain unconscious. They want as little brain wave activity as possible until the swelling goes down.

“The brain waves apparently are normal. He is aware his family is there. So there are encouraging signs. But you never know about relapses and other factors. There’s no telling how long this thing will go on. But he does have youth on his side.”

Schwindt was pitching in the pickup game when a line drive struck him behind his right eye and on his ear.

He told teammates he was hurt badly and didn’t have any feeling in his legs before he became unconscious.

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Schwindt, a junior, was used primarily as a right-handed relief pitcher at USD. At Chadwick High in Rancho Palos Verdes, Schwindt was 4-2 with a 1.69 earned run average his senior year.

A prayer service was held for Schwindt Friday at USD’s Founder’s Hall.


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