By Eric Coburn ’18 and Kelley McLellan ‘17
Senior Ryan Petrone is a member of the Merrimack College baseball team. This Leicester, Massachusetts, native is studying Finance and Communications. Petrone finished his freshman year with a .257 batting average, scored 15 runs and had a total of 17 RBI’s. Spring of 2016 he appeared in 17 games and totaled 15 hits. Petrone’s season was cut short due to injury but he continued to show dedication and come back even stronger the next season. Currently he has 14 runs this season and 8 RBI’s. The Beacon sat down with Petrone to get to know him a little better off of the field.
What age did you start playing baseball?
I started playing baseball when I was four.
How did you get started playing baseball?
My dad bought me a wiffle ball bat and a few wiffle balls and I would go out in my backyard and throw the ball up in the air and try to hit it over the fence every time. Eventually I got started in T-ball at four years old on my dad’s team.
What has been the best advice ever given to you?
My travel ball baseball coach would always tell me to “keep it simple. See the ball, hit the ball.” Hitting is a very tough thing to do. It’s the only thing I know where if you fail 7 out of 10 times, you’re considered really good so it’s easy to over analyze when you start to struggle. If you just control what you can control and see the ball and hit it when you’re struggling, everything becomes easier again.
If you had to give credit to someone who has helped you get here so far who would it be?
I could give credit to multiple guys, but I’d say my AAU baseball coach growing up, Dan Generelli. He really got me hooked on the sport. He took a chance on me by selecting me for his team and that was when I really started to succeed with baseball and fall in love with the sport. He played for the Red Sox at one point and was a huge intimidating guy that made you love the game.
What is the most important lesson baseball has taught you?
The best lesson I’ve learned from baseball is to be patient. Baseball is a long game and the season is a grind since we play nearly 50 games in just over two months. Success occurs in baseball when you are patient and relaxed and just have fun.
If you had to describe yourself in one word to a complete stranger what would it be?
Motivated. I love the feeling of success and the ability to achieve in tough situations or when I feel my back is against the wall.
If you could hangout with any celebrity for a day, who would it be and why?
I would probably choose Dustin Pedroia on the Red Sox. He has been my idol since I was a kid. It would be awesome to hang with him for a day.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I definitely hope to continue my success with my Mini Warrior Baseball Clinic business and by then hopefully our aau program has about 10 teams in the program and my coaches and I are teaching hundreds of kids the game of baseball the right way!