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Throw to Home Kills NW Indiana Softball Player

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A member of a men's slow-pitch softball team was declared brain-dead after he was hit in the neck by a ball.

Teammates say 24-year-old Alberto Naranjo of Elkhart was sliding into home plate during a game Saturday morning when a throw struck him below his left ear. He started to get up, but collapsed.

Paramedics took Naranjo to Memorial Hospital in South Bend from nearby Mishawaka after attempts to revive him failed.

St. Joseph County Coroner Michael O'Connell says a neurosurgeon pronounced Naranjo brain-dead early Sunday. O'Connell said Naranjo remained on life support late Sunday so his organs could be used for transplants.

Teammates said they were still trying to recover from the shock of seeing the accident.

"He was the nicest guy on our team," player/coach Keith Welsh told the South Bend Tribune. "People always say that about someone who has passed on, but he really was. Nobody could have met him and had anything bad to say about him. He was charismatic, funny, outgoing."

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