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Suncoast baseball stands up to cancer for teammate

The Suncoast baseball team at practice. (WPEC)

On the day a young baseball player goes on the field for the first time, a coach is there to tell him, there is no 'I' in team. The Suncoast High School baseball team has taken that mindset off the field as well, as they help one of their own deal with tragedy.

When heartbreak hit one member of the Suncoast Chargers, it hit them all.

"It was right before the season, it happened quickly," says Suncoast senior catcher Jack Virden. "It was very hard. He's a close friend of mine, it was a lot to see him go through."

A father of one of the players was diagnosed with cancer, and died shortly thereafter.

"When he went through that tough time, the team was there for him," says Suncoast head coach Louie Siciliano."

"I pray for him," says Suncoast junior pitcher Matt Lambertson. "and just be the best teammate I can be."

The Chargers, are not stopping there. Next month, they are planning a Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser game. Suncoast will play Royal Palm Beach on April 10th at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, with all proceeds going to the fight against cancer.

"Everyone is going to have Stand Up to Cancer signs," says Siciliano. "People will raise them in the middle of the game like they did in the All-Star game - each can write a personal message."

"We are all going to be playing the game we love and also fighting for a cause we're passionate about," says Lambertson. "We're all affected by it."

Standing up for their teammate, and for other friends and family, the Suncoast Chargers are using the game they love, to help those fighting for their lives.

For more on the Stand Up to Cancer baseball game at Roger Dean Stadium on April 10th, check out the Suncoast Chargers baseball team page on Facebook.

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