NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain baseball team beat East Hartford last Wednesday at Beehive Field, but the result was likely the last thing on everyone’s mind after the game.
Craig Schmitt, who previously was on the CCSU Blue Devils coaching staff, had a medical emergency in the stands late in the game, and needed to be revived before medical personnel arrived on the scene.
New Britain head coach Roberto Mercado said he heard some commotion in the stands during the fifth or sixth inning, and then the next thing he knew, he was cutting off Schmitt’s shirt with scissors before Khamari Haughton, the Hurricanes’ trainer, applied the AED defibrillator.
“[It was] one shock, he was gone for a little bit there, he came back with us,” Mercado said. “It was basically a team effort by everyone there. Chad Gibbs was the first to recognize, he put the alert out there. Great team effort by everyone there.”
After being shocked, Mercado said Schmitt knew where he was and the score of the game.
It took about six minutes from the 911 call for first responders to reach Schmitt, who was then carted away and transported to the hospital.
Mercado credited Chase Morales and Miguel Ortiz Jr., two 2014 graduates of New Britain High School, for their quick action as well as East Hartford’s assistant coach Hollis.
“I spoke to his wife that night, she was happy everyone was at the game,” Mercado said. “New Britain baseball saved his life at the game.”
Schmitt, who’s in his early 60s, has also coached in New Britain and the Berlin legion team.
Once the game resumed, Mercado said he needed to talk to his players and let them know Schmitt was in good hands.
“I met with the guys at the pitcher’s mound and said let’s get this one for him,” Mercado said. “It was really emotional for everyone to keep their composure and get the win.”
The Hurricanes won 11-7, in a gutsy performance all around by the home team.
As of Monday night, Mercado said Schmitt has been transferred to Hartford Hospital and was scheduled to undergo surgery. Mercado said he wasn’t sure what it was exactly that happened to Schmitt, but that he’s had heart issues in the past.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.