Baseball home opener pays tribute to fellow Mustang

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On Jan. 27, the Mustang baseball team initiated its first home game of the season with a tribute to former pitcher Calvin Riley.

In August 2016, Riley was shot at Aquatic Park at San Francisco while playing the popular mobile game Pokemon GO.

Sean Riley, Calvin Riley’s father, opened the game with the first pitch.The crowd in the bleachers was filled with friends and student-athletes in support for the family.

“It’s special because it’s a memory for their family because his son was a pitcher but also sad,” said Olawale Ologundudy, who was in the bleachers for support.

Before the game the Mustang baseball pitching coach, Mat Keplinger, led with a heartfelt speech.

“Cal was all love, he loved his teammates, he loved his family and he loved the game,” he said.

Every year Delta’s baseball team hosts a golf tournament fundraiser, which will now be renamed, the ‘Calvin Riley Memorial Golf Tournament.’

“Rather than receive donations to the program, we created a Calvin Riley scholarship. Sean Riley contacted us with the outpouring support from his current hometown of San Mateo and Boston for this scholarship, there will be additional funds for players moving forward,” said Keplinger.

The scholarship will be given to sophomores moving forward to four-year schools as student athletes.

“It’s awesome he deserves it, to share that team spirit for him,” said Damian Wilkerson, who attended with his swim team.

After Riley’s father threw the first pitch it was left to the players to keep a lead.

“It was definitely an emotional day for everyone. Having such a great turnout really showed how strong our community is at Delta and reflected the impact Cal had on all of our lives,” said Keplinger.

Delta Mustangs successfully ended the home opener game with a win 5-1.