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A grieving family is seeking answers over the death of a college baseball player from Maryland who died after undergoing surgery to mend an elbow injury.

Routine surgery turns tragic: George Mason University Patriots pitcher Sang Ho Baek, 20, died due to complications from a “Tommy John” surgery (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) on June 12 at a TidalHealth medical facility in Salisbury, Md., The New York Times reported.

  • The procedure, which repairs a torn ligament inside the elbow, is considered “relatively routine for baseball players,” according to the dean of Boston University’s School of Public Health, Sandro Galea.

  • Baek underwent surgery on June 8 but reportedly suffered a blood clot while in recovery days later, TMZ reported.

  • “Our family is devastated and we want answers to why our healthy son would die so suddenly after routine surgery,” Baek’s father, Seong Han, said.

Gone too soon: Baek, who made his college debut on March 12, had recently completed his freshman season with the Patriots.

  • The pitcher appeared in seven games for the Patriots, according to the team’s website.

  • Senior outfielder Scott Morgan said that Baek needed surgery because he “had been battling injuries throughout the season.”

  • The team’s head coach, Bill Brown, said that Baek was “an incredible teammate who was loved by everyone associated with Mason baseball.”

  • “He will be missed and forever cherished in our hearts. Right now, our thoughts are with Sang’s family at this unbearably difficult time,” Brown continued.

Morgan has set up a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to support Baek’s family. As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $26,000 of its $44,000 goal.

Featured Image via George Mason University Athletics

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