Former Hot Rod player’s wife, child and mother-in-law, murdered

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- A former Bowling Green Hot Rods player is dealing with an unspeakable tragedy, after his wife, child and mother-in-law were murdered in Virginia.

The player is pitcher Blake Bivens, who played for Bowling Green in 2016.

Police in Pittsylvania County said they have arrested Matthew Bernard, 19, in connection to the triple homicide. Bernard is related to the victims.

An hours-long manhunt Tuesday culminated with a chase where Bernard allegedly ran naked from behind a house near a local church.

Witnesses said officers tried pepper-spraying him, but he was unfazed.

Deputies eventually were able to arrest him.

Bivens currently pitches for the Montgomery Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Biscuits, Rays and Hot Rods all tweeted out messages of support to Bivens during this difficult time.

Hot Rods General Manager Eric Leach knew Bivens and his wife, Emily, when he was a member of the team in 2016, and he said it’s tough to believe that Emily and their son are both gone.

“I knew Emily better than I knew Blake,” said Leach. “My interactions with the players can be somewhat limited, but Emily lived here. She was part of our community. In fact, she worked next door at the Daily News. Emily wouldn’t be sitting down in the players section, she’d be sitting up with the season ticket holders at a couple of specialty tables that we have. It was just that kind of connection that people really remember. It’s people you want to call and stay in touch with after they’re gone.”

The Hot Rods plan to hold a moment of silence in honor of Bivens wife, child and mother-in-law before the start of Wednesday night’s game against the Lake County Captains.