Mount Olive freshman Madison Mergl and sophomore Ann Wray died at the scene. Five others, including Swetland, were taken to the hospital. The University of Mount Olive announced Swetland’s death on Monday morning.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Swetland family at this time, and for the many difficult days ahead,” said Dr. Ed Croom, the university’s president, in a statement.
Kings General Manager Ginger Fulton said Swetland was one of the few players to spend three seasons with the team. She said there have been maybe one or two others who have played that long.
» WITTENBERG NEWS: Freshman soccer player dies in boating accident
“He loved Springfield,” Fulton said. “He loved coming over here. He loved our fans, and our fans loved him. He was a really likeable young man. He was certainly a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. I know after baseball, he was headed back to work his family farm. That’s what he was really looking forward to doing. It’s just very sad. The accident was very tragic, and our heart goes out to all the other victims.”
Swetland played for the Kings twice during the summer while he was a student at Mount Olive, a Division II school. He came back to the Kings last summer after graduating. Swetland and Lucas still talked at least once a month since the end of last season.
“He had aspirations of maybe hooking on with an Independent League team,” Lucas said. “He was just a great kid, baseball aside. I never had any kids of my own. He was a son that I never had. It was more than a coach-player relationship. I got very close to the kid.”