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All-County Baseball: Willard reaches goal with work

June 18, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Baseball Hitter of the Year Ryne Willard - Smithsburg
Baseball Hitter of the Year Ryne Willard - Smithsburg

After his excellent junior season, Ryne Willard set his sights on being the best as a senior for the Smithsburg baseball team.

Willard gained Herald-Mail All-County First Team honors last year, then set out to become better with offseason work.

While Smithsburg’s team had a season that fell below its overall expectations, Willard remained a constant throughout the year for the Leopards.

He ended his senior season with a .508 batting average and led the Leopards in hits (31), doubles (11), home runs (five), RBIs (32) and total bases (59).

Willard is the 2011 Herald-Mail Washington County Hitter of the Year.
“My first goal at the end of last year was to be the top hitter,” said Willard. “The work continued hitting in the cage and in the garage at home. There wasn’t a day I didn’t swing.”

Willard, who will play baseball at Towson University, has always been a baseball junkie going back to his toddler years.

“Baseball was for me,” he said. “I can remember when I was 3 years old, I would pick up that skinny yellow whiffle ball bat and my dad (Barry) would throw to me.”

Willard’s coach, Trey Cobb, has always been impressed by his work ethic.

“You see a guy that is in the cage by himself working off the tee on his swing, and it shows the other guys if you want to get to the next level, you have to put in the time,” said Cobb. “He has the drive and the work ethic and loves the challenge. He has been the next best thing since Josh (Conway).”

While currently playing summer ball for Funkstown Legion and the Hagerstown Braves, Willard is looking forward to his collegiate career, with reporting day two months and three days away.

Willard is joined on the 2011 Herald-Mail All-County First Team by:

Logan Appel, Clear Spring

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Sophomore outfielder hit .430 and was one of the area leaders in home runs with eight. Drove in 31 runs, walked 20 times and stole 14 bases.

Connor Arnone, Williamsport

Senior outfielder is a First Team honoree for a second year. Hit .432 and scored 37 runs on 33 hits and 16 walks. Drove in 20 runs and played a solid center field.

Tyler Byers, Williamsport

Junior first baseman and pitcher hit .385 with 30 hits — including 11 doubles and four home runs — and finished with with 30 RBIs. Also went 4-1 with three saves and a 3.20 ERA.

Tyson Cline, Williamsport

Senior outfielder hit .451 with 37 hits — including five doubles and six home runs — and 11 walks. He scored 29 runs and drove in 27.

Brendon Colliflower, Williamsport

Junior pitcher burst onto the scene with a 6-1 record and 3.02 ERA. Had 52 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. Threw two-hit shutout over Catoctin in 1A West title game.

Charles Cvijanovich, North Hagerstown

Junior second baseman hit .381 for the Hubs, had eight doubles, drove in 16 runs, walked 16 times and scored 26 runs.

Ty Benson, North Hagerstown
Senior outfielder is a First Team honoree for a third year. Hit .418 with 28 hits and had three home runs with 19 RBIs, 10 walks and 10 steals.

Justin Lewis, Boonsboro

Junior outfielder and pitcher hit .531 with 26 hits — two of them homers — scored 26 runs, drove in 24 and received 23 walks. Had a 3-4 record on the mound.

Zach Lucas, Williamsport

Junior first baseman and pitcher did a little of everything with a .372 average on 29 hits with 13 walks. Had five home runs and drove in a school-record 40 runs. Also went 4-1 with one save.

J.R. Rinehart, Smithsburg

Sophomore pitcher came through with a 5-0 record with one save and a 4.69 ERA. Struck out 42 in 34 1/3 innings.

J.T. Root, North Hagerstown

Junior pitcher had a 2-0 record with several no decisions and a 3.99 ERA. Struck out 47 45 2/3 innings and allowed only 36 hits. Opponents hit only .220.

Dylan Stouffer, Clear Spring

Sophomore catcher led the county in home runs with 11 and drove in 32 runs while batting .471. Also had eight doubles and 12 walks.

Vince Turano, St. Maria Goretti

Senior third baseman hit .379 with 11 RBIs for the Gaels and played a flawless defense, making no errors this season in 23 games.

Second Team

Jake Bachtell    Sr    OF    North Hagerstown

Ben Bushong    Jr.    P    North Hagerstown

Brian Cibula    Jr.    OF     Boonsboro

Matt Daley    Soph.    SS    North Hagerstown

Connor Grimsley    Sr    OF    St. Maria Goretti

Brock Heiston Jr.    OF    Smithsburg

Nick Hill    Jr.    3B    Clear Spring

Dylan Ianaro    Sr.    UT    Smithsburg

Chad Lowry    Jr    2B    Heritage Academy

Jordan Nicewarner    Sr.    1B    South Hagerstown

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