Community meetings around the Long Beach family after the death of 10-year-old Lazar LaPenna on baseball diamond

LONG BEACH, NY – There was a tragedy at the end of last week on a Little League track on Long Island.

A 10-year-old boy collapsed and died while running to first base.

CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke with her heartbroken Long Beach family on Monday.

Lazar LaPenna had just taken on a cruise with his family and was celebrating his birthday on Wednesday.

Friday was his first Little League game of the season.

“He got a really good hit, barrel of bats. He knew it. The audience was going crazy,” Greg LaPenna said.

Lazar’s father was a coach.

“He was so excited. He looked at me. A smile from ear to ear,” Gregg LaPenna said.

He said he looked down for a moment to mark the blow in the results book.

“I hear Gerry yelling that Lazar has a seizure and he fell to the ground at first base,” Gregg told LaPenna.

Gerry is Lazar’s 11-year-old brother, who trained first base at the time.

His father says Lazar had epilepsy. His seizures had gotten worse with the years when he had one, but was almost a year without seizures and was on medication.

“After a long period of CPR, he just did not manage it,” Gregg LaPenna said.

People have put flowers, baseballs and baseball caps on the ball field. The family says community support is what gets them through this tragedy.

“From everyone, it’s touching, and everything is so surreal,” Gregg LaPenna said.

Other teams in the area also pay tribute, put baseball bats on porches and use the hashtag #BatsOutForLazar.

His brothers hold on to the memories of playing together.

“He always plays games with me,” one said.

“Lazar was a really good boy. We always wanted to play Madden against each other,” said another.

The family said Lazar lived for sports.

“The Mets were everything to him, the Jets were everything, so excited about the draft,” Greg LaPenna said.

And after years of changing his uniform number, this season he finally chose one he would keep going.

“‘Can I be number 9? I always want to be number 9?'” Said his father and broke down.

Greg LaPenna said the rest of the team’s season is dedicated to Lazar.

May they play with as much passion and joy as he did.

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