April 10, 2009
By PAUL OBERJUERGE
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Only a few hours after the most promising performance of his major league career, Nick Adenhart, a 22-year-old pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, was one of three people killed early Thursday when the car they were traveling in was struck by a vehicle driven by a suspected drunken driver.
Adenhart was a passenger in a Mitsubishi Eclipse that was broadsided by a minivan whose driver had run a red light, the police said. The crash occurred about five miles from Angel Stadium in Fullerton, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.
Adenhart, a right-hander, pitched six scoreless innings against the Athletics on Wednesday night, giving up seven hits and three walks but working out of several tight situations. After the game, Adenhart told reporters he felt “just a lot more relaxed, self-confident.”
Adenhart, a native of Silver Spring, Md., was considered the top pitching prospect in the Angels organization. He had a strong spring, but he might have opened the season with the club’s Class AAA affiliate in Salt Lake City had not the veteran pitchers John Lackey and Ervin Santana sustained injuries.
Billy Witz contributed reporting from Fullerton, Calif., and Ben Shpigel from Cincinnati.