A family tragedy for Mike Ruggiero, the manager of the Parsippany-Troy East Little League team as his father-in-law dies from a massive stroke on Sunday morning.

Joseph Kayal suffered the massive stroke on Friday morning and was hospitalized at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston according to the Star Ledger. The team was already in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, about a 3 hour drive; the family was heading back to New Jersey on Sunday morning when they learned of Kayal’s death.

The team lost on Friday and then played again Saturday night and kept their Little League World Series dreams alive with a 10-4 thrashing of the team from Oregon.  This was the family’s first opportunity to come home.

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“It’s hard. It’s sad,” Mike Ruggiero told the Star Ledger.  “You’re in one happy spot and then you’re in one sad spot. You’re in the Little League World Series, you know, and then back to reality.”

Par-Troy East plays the winner of today’s game between California and Tennessee on Monday at 4 p.m. which can be seen on ESPN3.com.