Team Pitches in to Help Tornado Victims

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WILLIAMSPORT -- A college baseball player from the Williamsport area found himself close enough to help Oklahomans affected by the deadly tornado.

In fact, his entire team pitched in to help while there for a tournament.

Ryan Hostrander is a pitcher for the West Virginia Mountaineers. The team was in Oklahoma City as that tornado blew through the suburbs destroying homes and taking lives.

Hostrander, along with his teammates, wanted to help and donated thousands of dollars worth of clothing to tornado victims.

"Five to ten miles away we watched all this destruction take place. And we weren't doing anything about it. People would help us out if we were in need. Why not go help them out," said Hostrander, a 2012 graduate of Williamsport Area High School.

Hostrander and the team were safe. So instead of focus on the Big 12 tournament, they spent about $4,500 on clothes and necessities filling 25 shopping carts.

"We just wanted to do the right thing, we took all of our clothes we bought and took them to University of Oklahoma where they're housing people in dorms," said Hostrander.

Hostrander's parents, Mike and Karen, are proud of their son and the WVU team. At first, the couple from Linden had no idea their son was so close to a major natural disaster.

"It's hard for us to be separated. I said to him the other day, I said I just want you home, give you a hug. He said mom, if I was home, i couldn't help out. So, I guess he's where he's supposed to be," said Karen Hostrander.

Now the team can focus on the tournament but Hostrander said his coach told the players the games will be distant second to helping after the tornado.

"You're not going to remember the scores of the games, you'll remember being here to help these people, stick with us for a long time," he said.

The Mountaineers are set to play Thursday night in Oklahoma City. There was nasty weather there again which pushed the games back.

To read and watch all of our stories about relief efforts in our area for tornado victims in Oklahoma, click here.