Sidelined Slugger

Sidelined+Slugger

Already taking a leap of faith into his future, sophomore baseball player Roc Riggio has already committed to a 4-year university. Although it is sometimes normal to hear about sports players committing to colleges early in their sophomore or even junior year, Roc has been committed to UCLA since eighth grade.

“I commited so early because it’s relieved a lot of pressure off my shoulders.” Riggio said.

Riggio’s journey to his commitment began long before he even started playing baseball.

“[My dad] originally named me Roc because he thought Roc Riggio was a cool baseball name” said Riggio.

He began to play when he was just 4 years old, but didn’t realize his full potential until he was 12.

When it came to time to decide what college to commit to, Riggio did not have a simple decision ahead of him.

“I was talking to about 10-15 different colleges,” Riggio said.

The amount of choices made the decision that much harder. When it came down to it, he settled on the Southern California university.

“The campus is gorgeous, the academics are top notch, and the baseball coaches and baseball facilities and field are beautiful,” said Riggio. “I just loved the atmosphere.”

Riggio has played for two other teams in Grace Brethren and Chaminade Prep, but has settled on Thousand Oaks for his high school career. Despite playing in the fall season for the Lancers, the transfer left Riggio ineligible for Marmonte League play.

“[Thousand Oaks] is a great place for baseball because we are more than a team we are a brotherhood and a family and I would and can rely on each and every one of those guys,” Riggio said.

Riggio is ranked 5th in his entire class, and this big hitter has shown his talent by playing for nationally competitive club teams.

But Riggio has not made all of his success by himself. He says there have been two people in his life that have made the most impact on him. His best friend Cole Rebienspies, who playes baseball for the Annapolis Naval Academy, has always helped him battle through challenges that life throws at him. The person he credits most for his success though is his dad.

“He’s made me the man I am today and has taught [me] most everything I know” Riggio said.

Riggio dreams about playing for his favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers and being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“Baseball is not just a game to me baseball is a way of accepting failure because half of the game is failure” Riggio said.

Although Riggio will be watching from the dugout for the remaining games of this season, what he has shown on the field already is enough to paint a bright future for Lancers baseball. With 2 years left in his high school campaign until he suits up for UCLA, Riggio is setting his sights on big things, but isn’t letting the pressure get to him.

“I will play baseball until the day I stop having fun,” Riggio said. “That’s when I know to call it quits.”