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Riverdale HS pitcher released from hospital after rare disease

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A pitcher at Riverdale High School has been released from Vanderbilt Medical Center after being hospitalized for weeks.

Clay Riggs, a pitcher on the baseball team at Riverdale High School, contracted a rare disease that caused him to have breathing problems following knee surgery.

Hospital officials said in mid-April the 16 year old was taken off a ventilator and steadily improving.

While the Riverdale Warrior stands an imposing 6'6" on the baseball diamond, there's no doubt Riggs is now feeling taller, boosted by the many people pulling for his full recovery.

"We're grateful for the time we've had with him, and we're looking forward to getting him back," said Riverdale coach Barry Messer.

"This puts a lot of things in perspective for us, because anything can happen. We never expected this to happen for him," said Senior Trevor Sutton said in April.

Riverdale principal Tom Nolan said Riggs' teammates decided to wear No. 24 on their helmets in honor of their star pitcher.

"No one saw this coming. No one expected it, but we're working through it day-by-day. He's fighting it," Nolan said.

The Riverdale Warriors also hung Riggs' jersey in the dugout during a playoff game earlier this season.

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