Vanderbilt pitcher Donny Everett drowns in Tennessee lake

Vanderbilt pitcher Donny Everett drowned Thursday night while trying to swim across a Tennessee lake. He was 19.

The Commodores are scheduled to open NCAA Regional tournament play Friday at home against Xavier. School spokesman Rod Williamson said the status for the game remains to be determined.

Everett was fishing with four others, including two teammates, when he tried to swim across Normandy Lake near a bridge, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Friday. He was found by divers 15 feet from the shore.

Coach Tim Corbin informed players and coaches of Everett’s death at a meeting late Thursday night.

“Heavy heart today,” tweeted Bryce Denton, a St. Louis Cardinals minor league player and former Vanderbilt commit. “Prayers go out to Donny’s parents and family, some of the nicest people. Good ones go way too soon. I'll miss you bro..”

Vanderbilt signee Alex Brewer tweeted that Everett was “probably one of the better guys on and off the field that I’ve ever met.”

In a statement Friday morning, Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams said Everett “exemplified the best of our university.”

“As you can imagine, the team, the athletic department and the university are trying to come to terms with this tragedy,” Williams stated. “His parents and loved ones are on our minds and in our prayers as we share in their grief.”

Everett was the 2015 Tennessee Gatorade player of the year and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers last year in the 29th round. After sitting out the first half of the season with an injury, he went 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings for the Commodores.

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