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Cause of death not yet known for Tech pitcher

POSTED: April 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Members of the Georgia Tech baseball team bow their heads in a moment of silence for their late teammate Michael Hutts before the first game of a doubleheader against Miami on Saturday in Atlanta. Hutts was found dead in his apartment Friday.

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ATLANTA — The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office says it will be several weeks before it knows the cause of death of Georgia Tech pitcher Michael Hutts.

Coroner’s investigator Mike Alsip told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution there was no obvious violent cause of death and results of toxicology tests in 2-3 weeks will be used to determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Police spokesman James Polite said the police report on Hutts’ death won’t be released until next week.

The Fulton County coroner’s office handed over toxicology tests to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“That’s a typical timeframe,” coroner’s investigator Laura Salm said. “I know people are anxious to have this information, but that’s all we can tell you at this time.”

Hutts’ body was found in his apartment near the Georgia Tech campus on Friday. The Yellow Jackets postponed their game with Miami, and the teams played a doubleheader on Saturday.

To mark Hutts’ three years as a student-athlete, the Yellow Jackets had a moment of silence before the first game and painted his jersey No. 40 on the grass in front of the dugout.

Many fans at Russ Chandler Stadium wore yellow ribbons.

“For our guys, it will be their first brush with death of a young friend that’s passed away,” said Eric Slipp, a 1986 Tech graduate. “They will have each other to grasp the succession of immortality, which will be good for them to have.”

Slipp, a season-ticket holder from Sailsbury, N.C., became friends with Hutts during the left-hander’s freshman year.

“It was great watching him work so hard and clearly this past weekend when he had two outstanding outings when we were at North Carolina,” Slipp said. “His game was coming to him. He didn’t take any great joy out a personal performance if we didn’t win.”

A family friend at the Dunwoody home of Hutts’ parents, Mark and Vicky Hutts, indicated the family might not speak publicly until funeral arrangements are finished.

“As you can imagine, this is a gut-wrenching time for them,” said the friend, who asked that her name be withheld. “They’re not here right now, but even when they get back, they have said they don’t want to make any comments to the media.”

Hutts graduated from The Wesleyan School in nearby Norcross. His former baseball coach Michael Shaheen was overseas on a spring-break trip with students, but DeWayne Cupples, the school’s athletic director, was in shock.

“Just a great young man,” Cupples said. “He visited us back in the fall and worked out with the baseball team. We were very proud of his contribution to Wesleyan.”

Hutts was a management major who made the dean’s list last year.



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