Baseball: Mount Airy's Rivizzigno wants 'to just keep playing'

Baseball: Mount Airy's Rivizzigno wants 'to just keep playing'
Mount Airy's David Rivizzigno works against Sykesville Post 223 in the third inning of their first game in a doubleheader June 23, 2018. (Doug Kapustin / For the Carroll County Times)

If you attend an American Legion baseball game at Lindsay Browning Field in Mount Airy, chances are you’ll see David Rivizzigno.

You can’t miss him.


He’s a tall, skinny, right-handed pitcher that’s been one of the key arms for Mount Airy Gold Star Post 191’s senior team over the past two seasons. On the mound, he’s vocal, consistently calling out balls for his defense. But among a chatty group in the dugout, he’s described as a quiet leader by manager Tripp Staley.

“On the field, he’s a competitor, he wants to win, he’ll do basically anything it takes to win,” said Staley. “Off the field, he’s very focused, he’s very hardworking … he’s always doing something inside practice even if there isn’t something for the pitchers to do.”

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and Rivizzigno has spoken with his talent on the mound this season.

The South Carroll High School graduate is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA in 26 1/3 innings pitched for Post 191.

Mount Airy is 13-8 and winners of eight of its last 10 games.

“This is the best team I’ve had on a legion squad,” Rivizzigno said. “We have a way better record this year than we did at this time last year. I think with the guys we have, we can definitely make a run for [the state championship].”

Growing up, Rivizzigno said he became fixated with baseball and stuck with it through his childhood. Poor eyesight made it hard for him to play in the field or see the ball at the plate, he said, making pitcher the most realistic position for him.

A Sykesville batter watches a pitch from David Rivizzigno in a game June 23, 2018.
A Sykesville batter watches a pitch from David Rivizzigno in a game June 23, 2018. (Doug Kapustin / For the Carroll County Times)

The love for the game has stayed consistent and led to a career at South Carroll, where he spent two years on the Cavaliers’ varsity baseball team, earning an all-county nod in 2016.

Following graduation in 2017, Rivizzigno was set to continue his career collegiately at Montgomery College in Rockville. He spent the fall with the Raptors, but said he was forced to drop out after totaling his car.

With a lost car and lost confidence, Rivizzigno said he had doubts about continuing his baseball career but continued playing for Post 191 and working consistently with longtime pitching coach Dustin Pease.

During that time, one particular instance fueled the desire to play in college again.

“At first I didn’t think I wanted to go back and play baseball,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was good enough, honestly, but my pitching coach told me at one of our lessons, ‘You know David, I see a lot of potential in you. You have the mechanics, you can do this if you just put yourself to it. I don’t see any reason why you can’t play in college.’”

From there, new opportunities have arisen. Rivizzigno is set to attend Frederick Community College in the fall to continue his baseball career. The Cougars are an junior college Division II powerhouse and have been nationally ranked for the past 11 seasons.

Roster spots are competitive and not guaranteed, but Staley said he believes coach Rodney Bennett and his staff at FCC would benefit with a talent like Rivizzigno.


“I think he has a good shot,” he said. “I think with his arm action and his ability to consistently throw strikes … I think he could be a big-time guy for those guys over at FCC.”

While he’s not trying to think too far ahead, Rivizzigno said the ultimate goal is to win a state title in his last season with Post 191.

And from there, continue his baseball career as long as he possibly can.

“I can’t picture myself not doing anything with baseball,” he said. “Even if I don’t make the Frederick team I would try to find a coaching thing or be around the game somehow. I love the game … I just want to keep playing.”