SHINER — Shiner began the season unranked but made its fifth appearance at the state tournament thanks in a large part to the performance of Ryan Peterson.
Peterson had a 10-0 record and two saves in his sophomore season, while hitting .387 with an on-base percentage of .531. He scored 41 runs and stole 32 bases.
“Ryan had a spectacular year,” said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker. “We knew when he was on the mound, we had a chance to win. He’s such a competitor. He works really hard to put himself in the position that he’s in to give him the success he had. He’s never satisfied with his performance. He always thought he could have done better and that speaks to the kind of person he is.”
Peterson suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the first inning of the Comanches’ Class 2A bi-district playoff game against Bremond.
He was unable to pitch in the remainder of the postseason, but became the team’s designated hitter and sparked the offense from the leadoff spot.
“That was huge,” Boedeker said. “We definitely wanted him in the lineup somewhere just because of the hitter he is and the way the kids follow him. He’s our table-setter on offense so it was big to have him in the lineup. For him to stay mentally sharp and mentally focused to understand what his job was at that point, and that was becoming our DH, and he did a really good job of that.”
Peterson had surgery June 17. He elected to have the ligament reattached and wear a brace rather than undergoing Tommy John surgery.
He should begin physical therapy shortly. He will be unable to play football, but hopes to be ready for his junior season of baseball.
Peterson will return as the Most Valuable Player of the 2021 Victoria Advocate All-Area Baseball Team.
Q: Your freshman season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, so your team came into this season unranked. Did you think the team had a chance to be so successful?
A: I knew we were going to be good coming into the season. We really didn’t have a chance to show what we had last year. The first day of practice everyone knew we were going to be pretty good. Everyone was locked in and bought into it.
Q: How much did you improve as a pitcher from your freshman to your sophomore year?
A: I felt better with myself pitching. I picked up a little bit more velocity and I tried to keep my mechanics as good as I could. I think I did better pitching to spots rather than just throwing.
Q: What happened when you suffered the injury?
A: It was on my 10th pitch. I threw a fastball and I thought my elbow just popped. I threw one more pitch after that and it felt pretty loose. I came out and A.J. Patek came in and did a good job. I hit in the second game and then went to the doctor.
Q: You could have taken the rest of the season off. Why did you decide to continue playing as the designated hitter?
A: They told me it was OK to hit. I wanted to hit and I wanted to play. I couldn’t feel anything (pain wise) when I was hitting.
Q: The team is losing a lot of seniors. What are your expectations for next season?
A: We have a couple of kids coming up and they’ll fill in those positions. I expect to be in the same situation next year.
Q: How would you sum up your sophomore year?
A: Every sport was great. Football we won a state championship, I had a fun time in basketball, and in baseball we went to the state tournament.