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Mom whose teen died after line drive hopes you’ll play for her son

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A 15-year-old boy who lived for baseball, recently died on the mound when a line drive struck him while he was pitching.  His mom hopes her son`s story won`t scare you, but rather will inspire you.

Nichole Temu read a quote from the late Jackie Robinson, “Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Temu says her son found the quote meaningful before he died.  She said, “He had such this passion for ball.”

Her son Zach Shaubhut surrounded himself with baseball, even while he slept.  Temu stood in his room and said, “I still think he`s coming back.”

She added, “He sold his Xbox so he could buy a bat.  What does that tell you?”

Shaubhut left for a traveling baseball league in Minnesota this summer.  Temu`s phone buzzed with what seemed like a mistake.  She said, “I checked my text messages and I was a little confused.  Prayers for my son. I don`t know what`s going on.  He just went up there to play ball.”

He was pitching when a batter turned his fastball around, right back at him.  Temu said, “It hit him somewhere in the upper body.  We don`t know the exact location, but momentarily he collapsed, seized.  The doctor said he had a brain aneurism and so I don`t know exactly what would trigger that, or the history of that.”  She added, “We`re kind of just at peace that what happened, happened and he`s in a better place.  A freak accident you know what I mean.  It`s not like it`s going to happen, it`s just like a plane crashing, how often does that happen?”

She has other kids, including 13-year-old Nickson, who also loves baseball.  She said, “The funny thing is when they were really little, I didn`t want them to be the same you know so I kind of tried to persuade Nickson to try other things like football, soccer, but he kept wanting to play baseball.”

For a second she thought about telling her younger son Nickson to stop playing ball.  Then she realized Zach would tell him to play harder.  She smiled as she said, “There`s no sitting on the couch and watching TV.  Let`s go and play ha and that`s what he would say.”

Nickson now plays on the same traveling team called Northern Heat.  While his mom watched, he showed his love for the game by playing catch.  He wore his brother`s jersey this day.  He was too shy to talk on camera as he told me he misses the summer days throwing with his older brother Zach.

Temu hopes people will be inspired to do what they love and play harder doing it.  She said it’s not just about baseball.  Pick your sport.  Maybe it’s academic related.  Do it with a passion.  Play harder at whatever you love.  #PlayForZach.

Follow Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV