Brother of injured Little League World Series player added to Utah roster

Brother of injured Little League World Series player added to Utah roster

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SALT LAKE CITY — Team Utah’s heartbreaking storyline at the Little League World Series has taken a heartwarming turn.

Brogan Oliverson will replace his older brother Easton in the Utah roster, the Little League Word Series announced Thursday. Easton was seriously injured after falling from a bunk bed in the players’ dormitory earlier this week; He remains at a Pennsylvania hospital while he recovers.

Brogan is eligible to play when the Snow Canyon All-Stars take the field of the tournament for the first time on Friday (1 p.m. MDT, ESPN).

“The addition of an eligible player is common for Little League Baseball World Series teams in certain situations, including medical absences,” the Little League World Series said in a statement.

Snow Canyon coaches said the decision to add Easton’s brother to the team was more than just a token gesture.

“Although many see this as just a sign of the situation we have been faced with, we want everyone to know that (Brogan) is a remarkable ball player and deserves this opportunity in his own right. It’s also very fitting that he could have come and participated like his brother,” said the team.

There’s even better news for the Oliverson family lately: Easton has made great strides since the fall. Easton fractured his skull, resulting in an epidural hematoma — a life-threatening condition where blood pools between the skull and the membrane covering a person’s brain — and underwent emergency surgery.

In response to the incident, the LLWS removed the bunk beds from the dormitories.

“One of his doctors said he did everything Easton was supposed to accomplish in the last 12 hours and more,” the Oliverson family said in a statement. “We believe Easton’s army of prayer gives him the strength to take these steps.”

The family mentioned in a social media post that Easton is no longer sedated and has woken up more frequently since the surgery. He could suck water from a straw and waves to family members. But perhaps the most promising sign for the youngster: he knew his name and his age.

“That’s big!” wrote the family.

Easton has support from everyone: his favorite baseball player, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, sent a video to him; as does BYU quarterback Jaren Hall.

It’s all set for a sad backdrop as the Snow Canyon All-Stars prepare to represent Utah in the Little League World Series. Snow Canyon is the first team from the state to earn a spot in the annual Late Summer Showcase. But the tragic accident is something the team hopes to take the field this weekend in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“We continue to write this remarkable story, no matter what obstacles or distractions come our way. We look forward to playing baseball and showing everyone our courage,” the team wrote in a statement. “We teach our players to get back up after they’ve been knocked down, to never give up, to always do things with a purpose. Is there any greater than this?”

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Ryan Miller has covered the Utah Jazz for KSL.com since 2018.

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