Darrin Winston, former Phillies hurler, dies at 42

FREEHOLD, N.J. - Former Rutgers University star Darrin Winston, who pitched in two seasons with the Phillies, died Friday at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township, just two days after being diagnosed with leukemia.

His death was announced by the Somerset Patriots, the Atlantic League team he played with for four years before his career ended in 2002.

Mr. Winston, who was 42, appeared in 34 games with the Phillies over the 1997 and 1998 seasons, posting a 4-2 record and 5.84 ERA. Drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1988, he pitched for them and for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels during his minor-league career.

The lefthander starred at Bishop Ahr High School in Edison before moving on to Rutgers. He holds the university's career records for victories (26), innings pitched (278), and complete games (22), and was inducted into its hall of fame in 2000.

The Patriots observed a moment of silence for the father of six before Friday night's game. Coincidentally, Somerset was holding a "Rutgers Night" celebration, and longtime Scarlet Knights baseball coach Fred Hill was there.

"He was a great young man. . . . And he had more enthusiasm than you could imagine," Hill told the Star-Ledger of Newark.