Landrum High’s Billy Ryan signs with Erskine baseball

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, April 16, 2015

By Mark Schmerling

Only some six percent of high school baseball players go on to play the sport in college.


Landrum High School senior Billy Ryan is among that select number, just having signed his intent on April 15, to play baseball for Erskine College on a scholarship.


Ryan has been playing team baseball since he was seven years old, but his dad, Bill Ryan, had started molding his son into a ballplayer much earlier.


The elder Ryan, who played outfield and pitched for Florida Atlantic University, was an important influence, he admitted.


“He (Billy) had no choice,” Bill Ryan smiled. “He was going to be a baseball player. He’s had a ball in his hands since he’s been born.”


Like his dad, Billy, tall and lean, is a pitcher and outfielder, tending center field for the Cardinals when not on the mound. He expects to play both positions for Erskine.


Does the Erskine staff feel that he’ll contribute to their program?


“That’s what they’re expecting, Billy Ryan replied.


When did he begin thinking about playing on the college level?


“Probably in my junior year,” he replied.


Knowing that he’ll play at that level, he said, is “amazing.” He’s also “relieved” to know that will be a reality.


Young Ryan has visited the Erskine campus, located in Due West, S.C., south of Greenville.


“It’s a homey feel — small town, with great coaches,” he reported.


Ryan is undecided what he’ll major in, but will likely decide fairly soon.


“To get to this day is a dream come true, Bill Ryan said of his son’s accomplishment. With such a small percentage of high school players advancing to a college team, “the odds are not in your favor.”

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1855: Concentrating only on baseball from young boyhood, through high school, has helped Landrum High School varsity center fielder/pitcher Billy Ryan (front row, center) earn a baseball scholarship to Erskine College. On April 15, the three-year varsity player made it official, by signing his intent to attend, and play ball for, Erskine. With Ryan are, front row, his mother Kim Ryan, left, and his dad Bill Ryan, a former pitcher/outfielder in college, and, back row, from left, Landrum’s head varsity coach Daniel Little, Billy Ryan’s sister Maddie Ryan, and Landrum varsity pitching coach Justin Henson. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)


1858: On April 15, Landrum High School baseball standout Billy Ryan made it official, by signing his intent to attend Erskine College, and play ball for the Flying Fleet. In the background is Landrum varsity pitching coach Justin Henson. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)