Cunningham is Having a Smooth Transition to College Baseball
Ryan Cunningham is a Virginia High School alumni and now attends UMD
Going from high school to college baseball is a challenge.
“It’s a huge difference going from high school small town Virginia you don’t see tough competition like you do here, it seems like everybody can hit your fast ball,” said UMD freshman, Ryan Cunningham.
Cunningham didn’t have to go far when he left Virginia for UMD.
“With the season they had last year being really successful i thought it would be really cool to join the team,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham has been making the transition seamlessly.
“I think he’s done real well, which is very exciting for us because he has a lot of ability. So for us to be able to use him as a true freshman, especially with the veteran pitching staff we have. I think that speaks volumes to what he’s accomplished in a short time here at UMD,” said UMD baseball coach, Bob Rients.
Cunningham was a four-year starter at Virginia but he still had some things to learn before taking the mound in the maroon and white.
“They stress how to mix it up and you have to rely on your catchers a lot which we have three really good catchers,” Cunningham said. “You learn from a lot of these older guys and throughout the season I’ve learned so many new things with these guys and the coaches.”
Although the competition is stiff in college Rients reminds Cunningham that the game remains the same.
“I think the big thing is just to make him understand it’s still the game of baseball, that they started playing as a little leaguer. There is still three strikes at each at bat and three outs in every half inning and so just understand that it’s the same game,” said Rients.
That’s the game Cunningham fell in love with in the first place.
“I love being outside and playing a sport and being with the guys with the chatter and all that stuff,” said Cunningham.
With Cunningham getting acclimated to the college game rather quickly. He has a bright future ahead of him.
“We think he can become a part to our pitching staff and our programs success early on in his college career. He’s started down that road as far as reaching the expectations that we had for him in the recruiting process,” said Rients.
And so does UMD baseball.
“It seems like this program has been getting better year in and year out and this year hopefully we can go a long ways and keep that continuing throughout the next years,” said Cunningham.