UNCC shooting survivor delivers first pitch before Charlotte Knights game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One of the survivors of the deadly UNC Charlotte mass shooting took the mound Sunday, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Charlotte Knights game.

Knights fans stood and provided a standing ovation for Drew Pescaro, one of the four students wounded in the shooting who survived the attack.

“The community support has just been tremendous,” Pescaro said minutes after throwing out the pitch. “It means the world to me."

Pescaro didn’t disappoint in his time on the mound, either.

“(My dad) brought me in the backyard last night and said, ‘We gotta work on this,” Pescaro said.

Sean DeHart, Emily Houpt and Rami Alramadhan are also recovering following the shooting that claimed the lives of fellow students Riley Howell and Reed Parlier.

“Everyone is recovering a little differently. Some (are) further along than others, but I think we're all going to alright in the end,” Pescaro said. “I mean we're just going to lean on each other and hopefully can move on from it.”

The game highlighted a week of support for those affected by the April 30 shooting. The Knights have been auctioning off game-worn, autographed Charlotte 49ers-themed caps this week, with all proceeds going to the Niner Nation Unites fund to support the victims and their families.

Pescaro said even those who weren’t shot had their lives altered on that day. He said even for him, the mental part of the recovery has been one of the bigger struggles.

“It’s a day-by-day thing, but you know you're not going to recover from it if you don't speak up about it,” he said. “So that's been a big goal of mine is to be very open about that.”

Bidding on the hats continues through 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9. To make a bid, fans can text "cltstrong" to 52182 or visit cltstrong.givesmart.com. Opening bids for each hat that was worn in the Knights game the day after the attack start at $49.