After missing nearly his entire sophomore season because of shin splints likely brought on from over indulging in hard work, Ryan Thompson headed into his junior year at Jacksonville High without any pain and minus the crutches he leaned on for several months. And, he came back with a vengeance in 2014, striking out 101 in 65 1/3 innings while sporting a 0.96 ERA in helping the Cardinals to their first conference title since 1976. As a result, Thompson was voted The Daily News player of the year.
Still, upon his return, his anxiety level was acute. He was back, but was he? He was ready to pitch, but could he find the form to be his team’s ace – or at least the form that saw him go 6-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 61 innings as a freshman?
“I was a little anxious to get out there, start playing again because I hadn’t played in a while,” Thompson said as he sat in his coach’s classroom. “I didn’t really know what to expect out of myself. I missed a lot. So I didn’t really know what I was going to get.” What he got was impressive.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Thompson struck out 101 in 65 1/3 innings and sported an ERA of 0.96, both of which led the area. Along with going 8-2 with one save, he walked just five of the 252 batters he faced. That’s one measure of his control. Want another? He did not throw a wild pitch in more than 900 pitches. And just for good measure Thompson hit .375 with 20 RBIs in helping lead the Cardinals to an 18-3 record and their first conference title since 1976.
Read full article by clicking here. (SOURCE: JDNews.com)
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