WINFIELD, W.Va. - Soft sobs and sniffles, sounds uncommon at the baseball diamond, gave way to laughter and friends whooping and hollering as they remembered a young man killed by a train.
Friends identified him as Tyler Kincaid of Scott Depot, a 2011 graduate of Winfield High School. Kincaid, a standout on Winfield's team who had just wrapped up his first season at West Virginia State University, was struck and killed about 3 a.m. Sunday.
They said he had been walking along the railroad tracks between Hedrick and Joyce roads near the Scott Depot Sheetz. Putnam Sheriff's deputies are investigating but couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.
Clint Arnold was in church when he heard the news. He said he nearly fell off the pew.
His son, Barrett, played baseball at Winfield with Kincaid and his younger brother, Dustin. The Kincaid family was the first the Arnolds met when they moved to Putnam County from Philadelphia in 2009.
Barrett and Dustin had been "shoulder to shoulder" since then, Clint said, adding his son was also close to Tyler.
"She said 'Tyler's gone,' " Arnold said after a candlelight vigil at Winfield High School's baseball field. "I didn't hear another word the pastor said."
Barrett drove from the University of Northern Kentucky straight to the Kincaid home after hearing about Tyler. He went straight to Dustin, Arnold said. Barrett and Megan Hathaway, who was class president at Winfield in 2011, organized the vigil.
More than 100 people packed into the bleachers at the Putnam County high school. They cried during the prayers and an impromptu rendition of "Amazing Grace." There was also laughter as friends told stories of Tyler playing baseball, fishing and playing video games late at night.
Baseball was a way of life for Tyler. He'd played since he was a boy and had always been a star player, but also was humble and showed leadership qualities from an early age, said Steven Gunter, who coached him from Little League until his teen years.
"In a blowout game in Little League he'd ask if we could put some of the other players in and he'd say 'Things will be OK, coach,' " Gunter said. "Same thing in a tight game, he'd say 'Things will be OK, coach' and then go in and hit a home run."
Gunter called him the "perfect teammate." His son played baseball with Tyler for years, though they went their separate ways in college, Zach Gunter going to catch at the University of Charleston and Tyler going to pitch and play infield at State.
Gunter said the young men never had the opportunity to play against each other.
"He was the hardest working kid I ever met," Arnold said. "He was a battler. He practiced hard and played hard.
"But he was also a humble kid. Quick to smile. Serious, but didn't take himself too seriously. He'd never quit and he'd battle anybody."
The former Winfield High standout was an infielder for the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets. He was studying criminal justice at State.