August 18, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Details are still sketchy at this point, but 23-year-old former John A. Logan College baseball standout, Mike Kozlowski, died over the weekend from an apparent ATV accident in Tennessee. He would have been 24 next Monday.

The Crown Point, Ind. native played two years of baseball for the Vols, culminating with a Region 24 championship in May of 2011. He played both third and first base and provided a steady power bat in the middle of the JALC lineup.

As a sophomore, the red-headed “Koz” hit a robust .348 in 49 games, including four home runs and 14 doubles. He drove in 38 and scored 36 runs.

He then transferred to Murray State University for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. As a senior, Kozlowski batted .294 in 54 games with 65 hits, including 19 doubles, three triples and two home runs. He led the team in runs batted in with 43; total bases with 96; and slugging percentage at .434. He was second in runs scored with 41.

Logan baseball coach and athletic director, Jerry Halstead, was still trying to make sense of the news Monday morning.

“Anthony Bayus (another former Vol, who was a teammate of Kozlowski at Murray State in 2013) called me late Saturday night on my way home from St. Louis,” Halstead said. “I had to have him repeat the news because I couldn’t believe it. It’s the kind of phone call you hope you never get as a parent or coach.”

Halstead said Kozlowski left an indelible mark in his time at the school and will be remembered for his kindness to teammates and fellow students as much as his accomplishments on the diamond.

“Just a great player, a great kid,” Halstead said. “This is a terrible blow for our baseball program, our school, and for anyone who came in contact with Mike. We, at John A. Logan College, extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mike’s loved ones in their time of need. He will be sorely missed by one and all.”

Erik Shannahan knew Kozlowski well.

“It was Koz, Cody Poole and I rooming together our sophomore year at Logan,” Shannahan said. “Koz wasn’t just a roommate; he was also a friend. He was one of the most caring kids I have known. It didn’t matter whether you were his best friend or just an acquaintance, he would do anything for you.”

Shannahan said Kozlowski most certainly impacted his life, as well as many others.

“We will miss him, but at least we can take solace in knowing that we all have an angel looking down upon us as we continue on with our lives,” Shannahan said.

Kozlowski worked as an electromechanical engineer at Nucor Steel in Blytheville, Ark.