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Rochester Honkers relief pitcher killed in auto accident

ROCHESTER -- Mitch Caster, a relief pitcher for the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods League was killed in a car accident Monday morning.

Caster was driving home to Kansas when he lost control of his sport utility vehicle on Interstate 35 near Des Moines, Iowa. Caster's vehicle struck an oncoming semi after crossing the median into the northbound lane. The accident occurred just after midnight.

Caster pitched the sixth and seventh innings of Sunday's 9-1 championship game loss to Eau Claire, Wis. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out two. For the season, he was 1-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 19 relief appearances.

Caster also played in the Northwoods League for the Brainerd Blue Thunder in 2008. The 21-year old was about to begin his senior year at Wichita State. He was a 2007 graduate of Goddard High School in Goddard, Kansas.

According to a story in the Rochester Post Bulletin, Honkers teammate Jimmy Waters, who plays at the University of Kansas, was driving his car just ahead of Caster, who was alone in his car, and witnessed the accident in his rear-view mirror.

Waters told Honkers manager Ryan Ruiz in a phone call that he thinks he saw a front tire blow out on Caster's SUV, and that's what caused the crash. There has been no confirmation of that by police.