Published: Thursday, April 26, 2007
Injured Bluffton player makes debut
Mike Ramthun was pinned under the overturned bus for 30 minutes.
BLUFFTON Mike Ramthun's legs were pinned under a bus carrying Bluffton University's baseball team after it toppled off a highway overpass in Atlanta.
His teammates managed to get one leg freed, then waited for others to help.
About a half-hour passed before Ramthun made it out. The outfielder didn't know if he'd ever play again.
He returned to campus on an electric scooter and limped along using a walker at a memorial service for his five teammates who died in accident.
On Tuesday, he started his first game since that awful morning.
"You don't know how bad you miss it until you're out there and it's 70 degrees and the sun is shining," he said. "I just kept thinking, 'Man, this is awesome."'
Ramthun, a sophomore, played in both games of a doubleheader against St. Francis.
Got hit first time up
He smacked a base hit his first time up and then stole second base.
"I was real nervous," Ramthun said. "I didn't get a lot of sleep."
The Beavers lost both games Tuesday and are now 3-14 in a season that started a month after their bus crashed on March 2.
Four players died at the scene and a fifth died a week later. The bus driver and his wife also were killed.
Investigators have said the driver apparently mistook an exit ramp for a highway lane, continued along it without stopping at a "T" intersection at the top of the ramp and then went over the edge, landing on Interstate 75.
Ramthun's brother, A.J., broke his collarbone in the accident and won't play this year.
About 85 percent healthy
Mike Ramthun said he is 85 percent healthy. He left the second game with soreness in his leg. He plans on playing in games this weekend.
Stealing second base on Tuesday felt great.
"Once I did that, I knew everything was going to be all right," he said.
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