Retirees Association

DDN Archdeacon: An angel appears at home plate

Colton Kucera

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News


Suddenly, he was there like a heavenly apparition, she said.

Staci Kucera’s son, Colton, the lead-off hitter for the Northern Kentucky University baseball team, lay crumpled at home plate — his face covered in blood, his brain waves jolted akilter — as the Sunday afternoon crowd at Nischwitz Stadium watched in horrified silence.

Working a 1-2 count, the fourth pitch from Wright State’s Luke Stofel — a 95 mph fastball that drifted inside — clipped the bill of Kucera’s black helmet and ricocheted, full force, hitting him in the mouth.

Chuck Gerl, an NKU parent who works as a paramedic, rushed out of the stands, and got down in the dirt to hold a towel to Colton’s mouth and try to stem the profuse bleeding.

“It was an extremely scary situation,” said Steve Dintaman, the NKU assistant coach who once led the Sinclair Community College baseball program, still lives in Englewood and had recruited Colton from an Arizona junior college to Northern Kentucky.

In that fearful, unsettled moment, Staci said Gerl looked up and saw “this man standing above him” who said “’I’m a dentist.’ “Chuck said it felt like there was this aura about the man…Like he was an angel out of nowhere.”