Rhode Island righthander Joe Ciancola died Thursday following a medical emergency during a team preseason conditioning workout.
Ciancola, 20, is a Connecticut product who played his high school baseball and hockey at Amity High in Woodbridge, Conn.
According to a press release from the Atlantic-10 Conference, Ciancola suffered a medical emergency during a team preseason conditioning workout on Monday, Oct. 24. He was transported to South County Hospital in South Kingstown, R.I., and was later transported to Providence's Rhode Island Hospital. The cause of death had yet to be determined.
The Milford-Orange (Conn.) Bulletin, quoting an unattributed source, reported that Ciancola was originally being treated for heat stroke and later developed malignant hypothermia, an inherited muscle disorder that can be triggered by certain types of anesthesia.
According to the press release, the workout was held under the supervision of an NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) certified coach.
"It is a tragedy any time you lose someone close to you, and even more so when it is a member of your family," Rhode Island athletics director Thorr Bjorn said in a statement. "Joe was and will continue to be a part of the University of Rhode Island Athletics family. On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators, I want to express our profound sadness for Joe's passing. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and many friends. We mourn his loss and offer our thoughts and prayers to those closest with him."
Ciancola played in the 2009 Tournament of Stars, signed to play at Winthrop and then sat out last season after deciding to transfer to Rhode Island.
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