Minor League Baseball

 
            === Devil Rays minor leaguer dies in canoe accident ===
 
 St.  Petersburg, FL (Sports  Network) - The body of Tampa Bay Devil Rays minor
 league pitcher Erik Walker was found Thursday after he was involved in a canoe
 accident last weekend. He was 23.
 
 Walker  had  been missing since Saturday  following the capsizing of his canoe
 on  the  New River in  Virginia. Game wardens  with the Virginia Department of
 Game  and  Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)  located Walker's body at approximately 11
 a.m.
 
 According  to  the VDGIF, Walker and  a female friend were canoeing when their
 boat  capsized.  They were wading with  the canoe when they encountered deeper
 water.  Walker couldn't hold  on to the canoe. His friend made it to shore and
 called 911.
 
 "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walker family," Devil Rays director of
 minor  league Operations  Mitch Lukevics said in a statement. "We came to know
 Erik  as young man who played baseball the same way he lived his life, full of
 enthusiasm,  passion and joy.  He was a good player, a good person and a great
 teammate.  He  was exactly  the kind  of individual we  would want wearing our
 major league uniform."
 
 Walker  was found in  the same section of the New River where he had last been
 seen. That stretch of the river, known as Molly Shoals, has swift water and is
 filled with underwater logs, boulders and ledges.
 
 "Water  levels had  dropped and water clarity had improved sufficiently for us
 to find him," Game Warden Jason Harris said in a statement.
 
 The  search effort  had  been ongoing  since Saturday,  when  Walker had  been
 reported  missing at approximately 12:30 p.m. Weather and water conditions had
 hampered search operations.
 
 Walker,  who  played collegiately  at  the  University  of North  Carolina  at
 Charlotte,  was  a 20th round pick  of the Devil  Rays. He pitched in 20 games
 last  season for  Hudson Valley  of the  New York-Penn  League, posting  a 3-1
 record with a 0.48 ERA and seven saves.
 
 
 10/26 20:30:00 ET

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