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DU club baseball says goodbye to departed teammate

The Lubar family (left to right), mother Madeleine, brother Patrick, sister Hannah and father David, join the University of Denver club baseball team on Mother’s Day to honor their son, Joe, a baseball player and DU student killed in a skiing accident this past winter. Photo: Chase Squires

On a Mother’s Day that brought Denver its first hint of summer, the University of Denver club baseball squad said goodbye to former pitcher Joe Lubar, who was killed in a skiing accident over the winter.

Joined by more than 30 of Lubar’s family and friends drawn from across the Midwest, teammates retired Lubar’s No. 9 jersey before putting on a hitting display in a game played in his honor, beating rivals Colorado College 14-7.

Both teams lined up along the All City Field base paths prior to the game, with Lubar’s mother and father, Madeleine and David, and siblings Patrick and Hannah, gathered by the pitcher’s mound sporting gold DU baseball T-shirts emblazoned with Lubar’s number on the back.

DU’s Idiosingcrasies a cappella group opened the ceremony with Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” before coach Jared Floyd stepped forward.

“We’re here to celebrate the life and baseball career of Joe Lubar. He was a very good baseball player, and an even better teammate,” Floyd said, then turned to the assembled family and added “We love you guys so much. We can’t show it enough.”

The team presented the Lubar family with Lubar’s framed jersey, and in a gesture that highlights the nature of club baseball’s sportsmanship, Colorado College’s Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory  presented the family with a game bat.

Patrick Lubar kicked off the game with a blazing ceremonial first pitch over the plate, showing off some of the talent his older brother brought to the diamond.

An emotional DU team seemed to feed of the energy of the ceremony, pounding out six runs in the first inning on the way to victory.

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