A Long Island little league is dedicating the remainder of its games this season to 10-year-old Lazar LaPenna, who died during a weekend game in Long Beach.
The young athlete suffered a seizure during the first game of the season. His father, and coach of the little league team, said the boy had just reached first base after making contact with the ball.
The hit was the boy's first of the season, and came with runners on first and second bases, and two outs already on the scorecard.
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"Lazar collapsed with excitement and went into a seizure. It wasn't the first time so we were prepared. Little did we know it would be the last," Gregg LaPenna, whose son lived with epilepsy, said.
His father describes the boy as an avid baseball lover and #1 Mets fan.
The 10-year-old attended the fourth grade at East School in Long Beach. Two days before the Friday night game, he'd been celebrating his 10th birthday.
"This tragedy is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for students and staff, particularly for who are close to this family," Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Gallagher said.
"All of our schools have a Crisis Intervention Team made up of a professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel at difficult times such as this."
The district said grief counselors will be made available throughout the week for any students and parents who seek any assistance.
"He always will be the truest Mets fan. Rest in Paradise my boy," Gregg LaPenna said.