Szczepaniak A 'Michigan State Kind Of Guy'

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Szczepaniak A ‘Michigan State Kind Of Guy’

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Ryan Szczepaniak RHP / OF / Woodhaven, MI / 2021

WOODHAVEN - It did not take Ryan Szczepaniak long to find out what interest he would receive following his performance at the Future Games in Georgia the first week of August.

“Driving home from the Future Games I was probably 10 minutes on the road when (PBR Michigan Scouting Director) Aaron (Wilson) called and said they’re interested in you and want you to call them,” Szczepaniak said in reference to Michigan State. “When I talked to them, the conversation was different than most calls.”

There had been previous interest from the Big 10 school, which had seen the Woodhaven junior pitch at events like the Black Swamp Tournament and Top Prospect Games. But now the talk was getting more serious.

“They invited me to come as a top prospect,” noted Szczepaniak, who was one of 10 players that went to a camp that took place a week after the Future Games. “I threw in front of the staff and I threw well. They talked it over as a staff and the next day made an offer.”

Eastern Michigan, Penn State and Michigan were others being considered by the 6-3 200-pound right-handed pitcher, who toured MSU prior to the camp.

“I liked the campus and I liked the staff,” Szczepaniak said. “I’ve always been a Michigan State kind of guy. I wouldn’t say it was my dream school, but at the same time it probably was. When I got there the feeling of being there was different. My high school team had played there in the state championship. It felt like a place I can call home.”

Woodhaven, which reached the regional finals this past season before falling to eventual champ Portage Northern, had lost in the 2018 state finals to Grosse Pointe South. Now Szczepaniak was deciding to make East Lansing a permanent home.

“I think I can bring a lot to the program,” Szczepaniak explained. “I’m a 6-3 right-handed pitcher with velo that will be good and offspeed that’s good. I think I can make an impact and help the team with an ultimate goal of getting to the Big 10 championship game. I’ll do anything I can to be a good teammate, to impact the players around me and be the best player I can be.”

The idea of playing baseball at the next level is only a recent development for the 25th-rated 2021 player in the state.

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