Originally created 11/10/05

Charleston Southern pitcher killed in fight



NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - An 18-year-old freshman pitcher for the Charleston Southern baseball team died after an argument with another student came to blows, authorities said.

Grant Ringenberg, 18, of Apex, N.C., was kicked and hit in the face and fell into a coma during a fight early Tuesday, police said. He died Tuesday afternoon.

The other student, Dan Thomas Davis III , was charged with murder, North Charleston police said. Davis was from the Williston area in the Upstate, police spokesman Spencer Pryor said. Davis, who was being held in the Charleston County jail, appeared before a magistrate Wednesday afternoon but must appear before a Circuit Court judge to get a bond hearing on the murder charge.

Both students lived on campus.

About 1,000 students - about a third of the Baptist college's student body - gathered later Tuesday for a prayer service where there were prayers for both students.

"Words cannot express how unbelievably saddened we are at the news of Grant's passing," said Jairy Hunter, the president of the university. "He was a promising student and athlete. We continue to pray for everyone who is involved in this tragic situation."

Police said an ongoing argument over Ringenberg's girlfriend apparently led to the fight which started outside a campus building about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

About 20 people watched the altercation during which witnesses said the two argued for about three minutes.

Then Davis punched Ringenberg, knocking him to the ground, police said. Witnesses said his head struck the concrete walkway, knocking him unconscious.

A friend of Ringenberg shoved Davis and it appeared he was going to walk away when Davis returned to Ringenberg's still body and repeatedly kicked him in the head, police said.

Police said Davis later walked into the dean of students' office and gave a statement.

A redshirt pitcher for the school, Ringenberg was a star high school pitcher in his hometown.

At the prayer service, baseball coach Jason Murray said he envisioned Ringenberg becoming a superstar if he gained some weight.

Neil Krock, a sophomore baseball player, asked God to have mercy on his teammate.

"He's in a better place with you, Father," he said.