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Ryan earns a first in Blue Knight baseball history

Urbana University senior Drew Ryan from Newark’s Licking Valley HS became the Blue Knight baseball program’s first NCAA Division II All-Midwest Region honoree today. The three-year starter was named to the ABCA/Rawlings First Team, earning a nomination for the D-II All-American Team in the process. The teams are voted upon by the head coaches in the region.  After another round of voting, the American Baseball Coaches Association will release its 2013 All-American teams later this month. 

Ryan hit .401 this season, becoming the 19th Blue Knight in the program’s 47-year history to turn in a batting average over .400 for an entire season. Remarkably, he led the team in both runs scored (45) and RBIs (34), an impressive feat hitting in the leadoff spot. Ryan’s .514 on base percentage was the fourth highest mark in school history. The utility man also slugged .577, finishing with 11 doubles, a triple and a career-high 4 home runs. His 25 stolen bases led the conference and tied the second highest total in UU history. 

Over his three-year career, Ryan is top 10 all-time at Urbana in runs (114), doubles (30), triples (4), walks (77), stolen bases (51), and career batting average (.345). He shared Team MVP honors with teammate junior catcher Robert Tavone Jr. this season. Unfortunately, Tavone Jr. was shut out of the ABCA/Rawlings All-Midwest Region teams despite being named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. Tavone Jr. hit .387 with 19 doubles, a triple, 3 home runs, 32 runs scored and 30 RBIs. Behind the co-MVP’s, the Blue Knights posted their first winning record (22-19) since the 2009 season.

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