Playing first base for the Rangeview High School baseball team during the 2017 season, Cody Lyster brings in a pickoff throw in a game against Fort Collins. Lyster, 21, died on April 7, 2020, from complications of the COVID-19 virus after an extended period in the hospital. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Rangeview High School graduate Cody Lyster died late Tuesday due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.

Lyster had been in the hospital for a week battling the virus when his heart stopped as doctors were trying to put him on dialysis according to a social media post from his father, Kevin, who had recently been hospitalized himself. At 21, he is believed to be one of the youngest deaths from COVID-19 among the 193 in Colorado thus far.

“How do I craft the words to say I love you,” read Kevin Lyster’s Facebook post. “The doctors worked on our son for half an hour and at 11:55 p.m. our beloved son and my best friend, Sierra’s brother and Lea Ann’s baby boy left this world to play baseball on the field of dreams.

“We were able to say goodbye to him, hug him and hold him afterwards. Please take this virus seriously. We are hollow and at a loss for words.”

Well-liked and known for his fun-loving personality, according to those who knew him, Cody Lyster loved the game of baseball and played it throughout his time at Rangeview, where he played on the infield and also pitched.

The major Colorado Rockies fan went on to play club baseball at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, where he was majoring in criminal justice to follow in the footsteps of his father, a police officer at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus in Aurora.

Colorado Mesa sent out a message to its community Wednesday:

“It is with profound sadness that today CMU joins the family of former Maverick Cody Lyster as we mourn his passing from COVID-19 complications. When not on the club baseball field, Cody was pursuing a degree in criminal justice. This pursuit was a path following in his father’s footsteps. …The loss of Cody to COVID-19 is CME’s first. His passing may not be the only grief we share together during the pandemic.

“Let’s renew our individual commitments to uniting against a common threat to life that we face together at this time.”

A GoFundMe page was set up on behalf of the family and far exceeded the initial fundraising goal in just a few hours and is moving towards the $25,000 mark.

Kevin Lyster kept friends and family apprised of his son’s condition throughout the week and received a great deal of prayers and support.

Reaction to Cody Lyster’s death drew an outpouring of memories from the Rangeview community.

“Great memories of Cody,” Randy Mills — who coached Lyster on the baseball team — said on his Facebook page. “I was honored to coach at Rangeview and I know he will be playing in the field of dreams and not listening to his base coach as always. One of my favorite memories was when he hit a home run and broke a hole in the scoreboard at Regis. Thank you Cody and the entire Lyster family for being such great part of Rangeview.”

Cody Lyster also was an avid sports fans with the Colorado Rockies and Colorado Avalanche among his favorite teams.

The Avalanche paid tribute to Lyster in a tweet (@Avalanche).

“The Avalanche mourns the loss of one of our biggest fans, Cody Lyster, who passed away this week due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to all those who have affected by this virus. #StayStrong).

Former Rockies player and television personality Ryan Spilborghs also tweeted to honor Lyster, including a picture of the two together.

“Devastated to learn of the passing of Cody Lyster to COVID,” tweeted Spilborghs (@spillygoat19). “To his parents, siblings, teammates and classmates, I offer my deepest condolences. Met him once, a huge Rockies fan, I was looking forward to seeing him play for CMU baseball! Prayers for his family.”

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports