As he rounded the bases, University of Houston center fielder Grayson Padgett touched his right hand to his mouth and pointed to the sky.
“That’s for my cousin,” Padgett said Sunday after his walk-off home run enabled the Cougars to sweep a pivotal three-game series against Wichita State.
“That’s for Blain.”
Only 21 years old, Blain Padgett, a senior defensive end at Rice, was found dead in his apartment March 2. Grayson Padgett found out the news later that night when he was pulled from a game at Minute Maid Park.
“I’m playing this season for him,” said Padgett, choking back emotions. “I’m living my life for him. It feels good that I could make him proud. I know he’s smiling down on me right now.”