Temple pitcher dies after pool accident

Posted: August 09, 2007

Temple pitcher Richie Gargel, 19, died yesterday afternoon as the result of injuries he suffered in a swimming pool accident early Monday morning in Minnesota. Gargel had been playing for the St. Cloud River Bats, of the Northwoods League, a summer league for college-age players.

"Richie was an outstanding baseball player and big part of the Temple baseball family,'' Owls head coach Rob Valli said. "He will be sorely missed by everyone that came in contact with him.

"We were fortunate to have had him as a teammate and friend for this past year. My thoughts and prayers are with Richie's family and we will continue to support them in any way we can.''

A Brigantine, N.J., native who went to Holy Spirit High, Gargel appeared in 20 games as a freshman for the Owls. He joined the River Bats on July 21. His final game was Saturday. He was the winning pitcher.

"The St. Cloud River Bats family is deeply saddened by the death of Richie,'' River Bats owner and general manager Joel Sutherland said. "He joined the team 2 weeks ago as an aspiring young pitcher with great skill and personal warmth for his teammates and fans. He will be missed by all.''

Police said the incident, which occurred at the home of one of the team's host parents, remains under investigation.

Gargel was a 3-year letter winner at Holy Spirit, a three-time all-league and two-time South Jersey Non-Public selection by the Camden Courier-Post and an Atlantic City Press first-team all-star.

The River Bats set up an account to help the family. To contribute, send a check to the Richie Gargel Benefit Fund, C/O Plaza Park Bank, P.O. Box 337, Waite Park, MN 56387.

Gargel is survived by his parents, Richard and Sherry; three sisters, Hannah, Breana and Monica; and a brother, Harrison. Funeral arrangements are pending. *

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