CHICAGO -- Though David Freese prepared as normal for Friday's series opener against the Cubs, his mind was also with the family of a friend back home.
A Thursday night auto accident in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood, Mo., took the lives of three teenagers -- Lauren Oliver, 18; Kathleen Oliver, 17; and Christopher Lenzen, 18 -- when their car veered off a road and crashed into a deck and a tree, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A fourth person in the car, Olivia Dames, survived.
Freese grew up playing summer ball with one of Lenzen's two brothers, Cory, and Christopher served as the bat boy for many of their games. Freese said he spoke over the phone with Cory on Friday morning and wanted to publicly send his condolences to all three affected families.
"My thoughts and prayers are going to the Lenzen, Oliver and Dames families," said Freese, who grew up in Wildwood. "I ask that people reach out to each of those families and help them as much as they can. I've known the Lenzens for a long time, and they are just wonderful people. This is a very difficult time for everyone in that community."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.