Healy leads New Brunswick League in strikeouts and ERA
Updated 11:52 pm, Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Life gives most people opportunities to succeed.
Success has become somewhat of a motto for the Staples baseball program; it holds the record for FCIAC titles with seven, has won three of the last four and was just named Connecticut Baseball Team of the Year by MSG Varsity. This success, of course, is only possible with the efforts of tremendously good players. One of the Wreckers' most successful products of late is Ryan Healy, a 2006 graduate.
"There was a lot of good talent when I was at Staples. "We had a coaching staff that expected a lot from us and that helped us to improve every day," Healy said. "There's a lot of good competition in the FCIAC, so it improves everyone's game."
After an accolade-filled career at Staples, the righthander went on to pitch for Amherst College.
In his senior season, he was 7--0 record with a 2.41 ERA and pitched an inning in the New Enlgand Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Senior All-Star game for the Division II and III All-Stars against the Division I All-Stars where he struck out two batters in an inning pitched. He gave up a single and no runs and got the third out on a comebacker to him.
Healy was second-team All-New England Small College Athletic Conference selection and third-team All-NEIBA.
"In my first two years at Amherst, I played for Bill Thurston, a legendary pitching coach who knows a lot about improving his players. When Brian Hamm took over as head coach, he instilled in us a strong awareness of details and had us always maintain our focus," Healy said. "Amherst gave me what I needed to perform well in the NESCAC."
After his stellar campaign with the Lord Jeffs, Healy inked a contract with the Moncton Mets of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League, a semi-professional league. He's under contract until Oct. 2 and was the league's Pitcher of the Week three times.
The Mets have a history of winning. Since the teams founding in 1984, it has won eight league titles, a Canadian national title and is on its way to the 2011 playoffs in hopes of another championship.
In his pro debut, Healy faced former American League All-Star Jason Dickson (who represented the Anaheim Angels in 1997 and who last pitched in the Majors in 2000). Healy matched Dickson pitch for pitch before leaving after nine innings with the game still tied at 1--1. In his outing, he gave up just one run on five hits, and struck out 12. The Mets went on to lose the game in extra innings; nonetheless, Healy was phenomenal in his first pro start.
"Maintaining your focus the entire game is key, when you're pitching, you seem to fail when some things don't go your way and the wheels start to come off," Healy said. "It's really important for a pitcher to bear down and get out of jams to limit the damage."
Since his first start, he has been Moncton's pitcher of the week twice. Healy has posted a 4--2 record accompanied by a 1.50 ERA and has struck out 65 batters in 56 innings pitched. He's the league-leader in ERA and strikeouts.
"The NESCAC has a lot of young, really talented players that have a strong focus on improving their skills. The guys I play up in Canada seem to have know more about the game but are a bit older, I think Amherst prepared me well mentally and physically, which gives me an advantage now," Healy said.
The Mets finished the season with a 17--15 mark and are now gearing up for the playoffs, where they'll take on the Fredericton Royals tomorrow.
"We know we're playing Fredericton [in the] first round, we get a good sense of what they're like because we've played them a lot. I've pitched against them personally so I'll look to pitch to their weaknesses and get ready for some of their better hitters," Healy said.
Despite his great performance in Canada, Healy is unsure about his future in baseball.
"The chance in Canada arose shortly after I graduated and it seemed like a great opportunity. After this season, I don't know if I see myself staying in it. I'm also searching for a career in the business world, which I might be more destined for, but I'm certainly open to the path for a baseball career. I'm just playing it out and seeing how it goes," Healy said.