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A sixth-grader died Friday after he was hit by a baseball during practice at a North Carolina middle school, officials said.

Alex Newsome, 12, suffered a head injury when he was struck by a line drive ball during after-school practice at Roland-Grise Middle School in Wilmington, N.C., said Valita Quattlebaum, a spokeswoman for the school district.

Alex died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center on Friday night, Erin Balzotti, a hospital spokeswoman said.

“Staff, coaches, parents, the principal and superintendent of the district were all at the hospital after the accident to offer support to the family, classmates, teachers and friends of Alex,” Quattlebaum said in a statement.

Baseball is the most deadly sport for children ages 5 to 14, according to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Between three and four children die each year from injuries sustained during the sport, the study found.

The school community is “greatly saddened” by the loss of the young student, Quattlebaum said.

— Elisha Fieldstadt

Police respond at the scene where a student at Roland-Grise Middle School died Friday afternoon, after being hit by a line drive during baseball practice.WECT