When news began to circulate on Tuesday afternoon of the sudden cancellation of a Montgomery Biscuits doubleheader, the team was tight-lipped about details, citing only a tragedy in the Biscuit family.
Late Tuesday evening, it was announced that the family of Double-A pitcher Blake Bivens — including his wife, Emily, and one-year old son, Cullen — were among three victims found in a Virginia homicide. Matthew Bernard, Bivens’ 19-year-old brother-in-law, has been arrested after fleeing the scene unarmed. The second female victim is believed to be Bernard’s mother, and Bivens’ mother-in-law.
Names of the victims have not yet been released by the press, but the connection to Bivens was confirmed via Jeff Passan.
Just an awful tragedy: The wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, were among three people killed in rural Virginia on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. Police have charged Bivens' wife's brother with first-degree homicide.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 28, 2019
Bernard was found at a nearby church, nude where he evaded initial police attempts to pepper spray him, per local witness reports. He was eventually subdued and taken into custody.
This is an unspeakable tragedy that has rocked the entire Tampa Bay Rays organization and community. The team released the following statement:
The Biscuits CEO and Managing Owner, Lou DiBella, also released a statement.
A statement from CEO & Managing Owner, Lou DiBella. pic.twitter.com/Uocm0juKb7— Montgomery Biscuits (@BiscuitBaseball) August 28, 2019
Our Baseball Life, an organization that helps provide resources to minor league and college baseball families, has launched a GoFundMe following the tragedy. All funds will go to support Blake Bivens in this difficult time.