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From The Dugout - Oregon Baseball Blog

Dec. 18, 2009

A Q&A With Future Duck Ryon Healy

The Oregon baseball program continues to ink some of the best recruits in the country, and throughout the winter, will conduct Q&A’s with future Ducks, who recently signed their National Letters of Intent with the UO during November’s early signing period.

First up is current Crespi High School (West Hills, Calif.) senior Ryon Healy. Healy finished the 2009 season on the mound with an 11-0 record, a 1.81 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 81 and 1/3 innings. He was named the CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year, and the Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year, as well as the Mission League MVP. Ryon helped lead Crespi HS to the Southern Section Division II championship, pitching a complete game while hitting a home run and a two-run single in an 8-1 victory over Huntington Beach HS

But Ryon isn’t just a lights-out pitcher, last season at the plate he batted .468 with 29 runs and 24 RBIs, earning Cal-Hi Sports all-state first team honors. The No. 55 recruit in the state of California according to PerfectGame Crosschecker, Ryon played for the Milwaukee Brewers Gray Area Code team during the 2009 Area Code Games from Aug. 5-10, in Long Beach, Calif. So what intrigued you about the Oregon baseball program, and why did you make the Ducks your final choice?
Ryon Healy: Going through the recruiting process was a lot of fun, especially when you have big schools like Oregon coming after you. The one thing that intrigued me about going to Oregon was having Coach Checketts come out to my quarterfinal game in the CIF playoffs. He could have gone to many other games, but he chose mine. I ended up playing really well, and received a scholarship offer two days later.

GD: Did you make a visit to Eugene, and what was your most memorable moment or place that you recall from your trip?
RH: During the summer my parents and I flew to Eugene to see the campus and athletic facilities. Once I got into Eugene there was something special that hit me. I loved the college town and the campus was really beautiful to walk through. I got home Monday afternoon and committed to be a Duck on Tuesday night - there were no other schools that I needed to look at. Then later on in the year, I was flown up by the school to watch the USC vs. Oregon game on Halloween. The players and coaches really made me feel like one of the guys, and it just reassured me that I made the right choice in Oregon.

GD:  Last year, you helped Crespi High School to the Southern Section Division II Championship. My guess is your goal is to win back-to-back titles this season. What are you and the team working on to accomplish that goal?
RH: My team and I are truly focusing on staying healthy and having a lot of fun with our last season together. We have a lot of great talent in our senior class, and we have great team chemistry. We are looking forward to this season, and can't wait for our first game to defend our title.

GD:  What is it like as a player to be a position player as well as a pitcher? And also, what was it like to pitch a complete game as well as hit a home run and two-run single in the section championship game last year?
RH: Being a position player and a pitcher is really a lot of fun. People ask me all the time if I like hitting or pitching more, and to be honest, I don’t know. I love doing both because I love having the game in the palm of my hand. I love striking out the side, but I also love hitting a towering home run over the left center field wall. There is no other feeling like jog around the bases. Pitching at Angel Stadium (in the section championship game) was one of the greatest experiences of my life - being in that atmosphere blew me away. It was a rush to be able to win a game like that. I had to take a couple of deep breaths just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and let everything sink in before we left the ballpark.

GD:  Playing in the Area Code games is a pretty prestigious invitation for high school players. What was that experience like?
RH:  The Area Code games were a fun and thrilling experience, playing against the best talent across the United States is so amazing and fun. Being around so many prestigious players makes you so much better mentally in the game. It is a different atmosphere then high school ball because every player there is a Division I or a professional prospect. This is when my game really began to improve, playing with so many talented players allowed me to improve my game tremendously.

GD:   How well did you get to know fellow signee Brando Tessar at the Area Code Games, and what are your thoughts about playing with him next year?
RH: Brando and I have been playing against each other for about six years, and it was nice to finally be on the same team for once. I am excited to play with him at Oregon, and I know he has good things to bring to the program.

GD: Now that you are in your senior year of high school, what are looking forward to between now and graduation?
RH: I am just enjoying my time here at home because I only have a few more months until I am up in Eugene. I am really looking forward to my senior season and also spending time with my friends and family before I go to college and live on my own.

GD: And what are you most looking forward to about coming to Eugene?
RH: I am looking forward to baseball, and I can't wait to get up there and see what kind of player I can become in the Pac-10. I want to work hard and make the best of every situation. I can't wait to live on my own because I want to see how it feels to cook for myself and clean up after myself all the time. I am going to miss my family so much, but I am excited for the challenges ahead.

GD:  Tell Duck fans one thing most people don’t know or would be surprised to know about you?
RH: I love the rain!!!