Junior pitcher brings new energy to team


Caroline Cooney

Junior pitcher Ryan Archibald winds up to pitch the ball during the Josh Hamer Memorial Game at Ripken Stadium on April 21. Archibald has been playing baseball since he was four years old and is now committed to play baseball at the University of Maryland.

Nine-year-old Ryan Archibald steps up to bat during a little league game. He swings and successfully hits the baseball. Instantly, excitement rushes over him as he watches the ball fly over the fence, scoring his first ever home run.

Now, as a junior who is committed to play Division One baseball in college, Archibald’s talent and love for the sport has continued to grow. Since sophomore year, Archibald has been on the varsity baseball team. Not only is he a pitcher, but he is also a third baseman. “I love hitting and I love pitching because it’s both a strategic and mental game you have to play,” he said.

Archibald’s baseball career began when he was four years old on a little league team in California, where he lived before moving to Maryland at the beginning of his sophomore year. He led his league in the number of home runs with 24 in a 21-game season. According to Archibald, this performance helped get his name out to local teams and other high schools.

Archibald believes that there was a deeper well of talent in California, but it is just as competitive as in Maryland. “In California, you could be an amazing player, but you’re an amazing player among a bunch of other amazing players. When you come to a smaller state, you’re a fish out of water, but in a good way,” he said.

According to Archibald, his transition to the JC baseball team was an easy one. “The first person I met was [junior] Nick Collier, and he was really welcoming. The entire team was excited to meet me, which was a cool atmosphere to be a part of,” he said. His transition was also easy due to the fact that he was just as competitive and was willing “to put forth 110 percent effort every single time.”

Caroline Cooney
Focusing hard on the ball, Archibald prepares to swing during the Josh Hamer Memorial Game. In additon to playing as a pitcher, Archibald also plays as a third baseman.

Head coach Darrion Siler believes that Archibald motivates the other players and does well for the team. “He gives us a little bit of everything. He pitches well, [throws] good innings, [and] he’s definitely a powerful player,” Siler said.

Collier agreed with Siler and added that Archibald is a great teammate and leader. “He brings competitiveness and passion onto the field,” he said. “[Ryan is] a team player who will do whatever to help the team out.”

While on the field, Archibald strives to make sure that people see his work ethic. “It’s a mental thing for me because it makes me work harder, even if I’m not the best player on the team. I want to deserve my accomplishments, I don’t want them handed to me,” he said.

As of right now, Archibald pitches 89 mph off the mound and low 90s off of a run-and-gun. “It’s definitely flattering in some respects, but you still have to work hard because anyone can hit a fastball. It’s the offspeed stuff that’s really going to mess with the hitter and keep them off balance,” Archibald said.

Archibald continuously works to improve his baseball skills year-round with his dad, who has been a big influence on his career. “My dad is the one who coached me all the way up from when I was able to play baseball until now. He still coaches me when I work on things at home in our backyard,” he said. According to Archibald, he takes everything that his father says into account and works on it.

Collier has noticed an improvement in Archibald’s talent and level of maturity within the last year. “He learned from his mistakes last year and has bettered them this season. He has a plan before each game and executes it,” Collier said.

This summer, Archibald plans on playing on the Evoshield Canes National Team, which is a team that is designed to help high schoolers prepare to play in college. Playing on teams such as this or playing at showcases can help you get on the radar for scouts and potentially drafted out of high school for the Major Leagues, according to Archibald. “I know a few kids on the team, but I’m definitely always excited to meet new people that are studs at baseball,” he said.

During his recruitment process, more than 10 colleges, including Penn State University, Virginia Tech, Duke University, and Pepperdine University were looking at Archibald for their respective teams. However, Archibald decided to continue his baseball career at the University of Maryland, College Park.

To Archibald, the University of Maryland had the best combination of high quality facilities and strong academics. “[Committing to the University of Maryland] was a big accomplishment because it’s a highly respected academic institution as well as an athletic institution,” he said.

Going into his senior year, Archibald will continue to compete and do his best. “As a senior, I want to be remembered as someone who had an impact on the program and was able to influence the younger players to become as good as they possibly could be, to work hard consistently, and to learn to love baseball as much as I do,” he said.

Caroline Cooney is the Editor in Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.