Jesse Esphorst, a standout sophomore shortstop at South (Torrance, Calif.) High School, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident on Tuesday night, according to the Torrance Daily Breeze. He was 16.
The van carrying Esphorst and his father was struck when two cars ran a red light and crashed into them, according to the report. Esphorst’s father is reportedly in intensive care at a local hospital.
Esphorst was killed hours after he hit a two-run home run in South’s 13-3 victory over Hawthorne in the El Segundo Tournament. He made varsity as a freshman and hit .338 as the Spartans’ starting shortstop and leadoff hitter. Last summer Esphorst was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series after leading Torrance to the championship.
“Just an incredibly special kid,” South coach Grady Sain told the Daily Breeze. “Everybody would tell you that he was an incredibly talented baseball player and everybody would tell you that he was just an incredible person. He was so genuine, just so real, one of the most respected young men that I’ve ever been around.”
Police arrested the driver of one vehicle on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. The other driver is still being sought, according to the Daily Breeze report.