PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College has been notified of the death of student-athlete Reid Rizzo, 21, early Saturday morning, June 2, in Madisonville, Ky. Rizzo was a member of the Storm baseball team and was in Madisonville playing summer ball for the Tradewater Pirates.
The cause of death has not been determined.
A native of Cincinnati and 2010 graduate of LaSalle High School, Rizzo passed away in his sleep of apparent natural causes.
Rizzo appeared in 82 games in his two seasons with the Storm, batting .253 with 47 runs scored, 22 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases. As a sophomore, he was the team's leadoff hitter and starting shortstop, setting a school record for most times hit by a pitch in a season (10) and for most fielding assists (122).
LakeErieStorm.com will post funeral arrangements for Rizzo once they have been made.
Following are statements from Lake Erie College President Michael T. Victor, Director of Athletics Griz Zimmermann and baseball coach Brian McGee:
Lake Erie College President Michael T. Victor
"Reid was a beloved member of our baseball team and the Lake Erie community. His presence will be sorely missed on campus, in our classrooms and most especially on the field by teammates, coaches and the College community. We send all of our sympathy, hopes, and prayers to his family. We pray that our shared memories of Reid, and his love for baseball and for life, will be a comfort to all who mourn his passing."
Lake Erie College Director of Athletics Griz Zimmermann
"It is a tragedy any time you lose someone close to you, and even more so when it is so sudden and a member of your family. Reid was and will continue to be a part of the Storm Athletics family. On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators, I want to express our profound sadness for his sudden passing. Our deepest sympathies go out to Reid's parents, Tim and Lisa, his family and many friends. He was a polite and engaging young man off the field and a hard-worker and scrappy player on it. We mourn his loss and offer our support, thoughts and prayers to those closest with him."
"Our Storm family has sustained a tragic loss and our family is grieving that loss. We lost a friend and a terrific teammate. Reid was a great kid and we were excited about what he had accomplished as a player and a person in the short time he was with us. In baseball, 'dirtbag' is an endearing term towards a tough, gritty and hard-nosed player - and Reid exemplified that term. He played every pitch like it was his last. He was type of kid who was willing to put it all on the line and play hard every single time out. Always went the extra mile and did all the little things and special things. Pound for pound he is the toughest kid I've ever coached and one of the grittiest players I've ever seen on a field. Reid was one of those kids who just loved baseball. Maybe most importantly to me personally, he bought into our program and what we were trying to do. He believed in what Lake Erie baseball can and will be. And he never wavered from that. He wanted to be out there on the field with his teammates and would do whatever it would take to help his team win. As a young player he quickly emerged as a leader on the team. His teammates respected him from the moment he stepped on the field. We all knew early on that he would impact the team in a positive way. There's just no explaining this type of thing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Tim and Lisa, who are two great people and raised a terrific young man. We will be here to support Reid's family in any way we can."