USC Aiken baseball team presses forward after charter bus carrying team, equipment catches fire

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Monday, March 11, 2019

(WRDW/WAGT) -- All players and coaches are safe after the bus carrying the USC Aiken Pacers baseball team caught fire in North Georgia.

It happened Sunday night after a game when the team was traveling back home from a regular season game.

Five people made the call to 911. One of those five people was head baseball coach Kenny Thomas.

"I called 911, and heck, the bus caught on fire," Thomas said.

Coach Thomas and 38 players and coaches watched as their charter bus went up in flames, destroying almost everything they brought with them.

"About 12 or 15 players lost their gloves," Thomas said. "To a baseball player, that's important -- your gloves."

It took the fire department 20 minutes to put the fire out. Then the reality set in: the team had to get back home, hit the field, and start over.

"We gonna play Erskine Wednesday night," Thomas said. "Now I may not know whose gloves we're gonna use, but rest 100 percent assured, we are playing Erskine here at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night."

USC Aiken Athletics released a statement, saying everyone made it safely off the bus without incident.

The university took the time to thank the first responders out of Greensboro, Georgia, for making sure everyone made it out safely.

It's unclear what caused the fire, but it's under investigation.