Getting to Know: Baseball Signee Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan recently signed a National Letter of Intent in November, 2013, to join the Cal State Northridge baseball program for the 2014-15 season.
He's a native of San Anselmo, Calif. Ryan is an athletic right handed pitcher who competes for Sir Francis Drake High School in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last season as a junior Ryan had a 0.95 ERA with 117 strikeouts in just 95 innings pitched. He earned Cal Hi Sports All American honors as well as being named the All-Marin "Player of the Year".
We recently had a chance to sit down with Joe after the holidays to learn a little more about him. Here is what we found:
GOMATADORS.COM & CSUN Baseball Signee: Joe Ryan - RHP, Drake High School, CA
What was your first impression of Cal State Northrdge when you began to be recruited?
My first impression of CSUN was that the coaching staff went out of their way to make me feel welcome and wanted. I felt like this was a place where I could compete at the Division-I level, stay on the West Coast, and have a chance to compete right away on the mound.
What can you say about the Cal State Northridge Baseball coaching staff?
The coaching staff at CSUN is in control. They are leaders and are building a successful program. You can tell that they love the game and care about their players on the field and off the field. I felt that for me, it was a great chance to work with a great pitching coach and head coach in Coach Moore.

What's your first memory of Cal State Northridge?
I was taken on a tour by head coach Greg Moore. I could immediately feel the passion Coach Moore has for the school and the game. He and his staff put a great deal into every aspect of the program.

What do you love most about the sport of baseball?
I love the pace of the game. The in-between moments where I can take a breath and focus on my job. The relaxed moments between pitches and also the intense explosive seconds as I throw a pitch to the glove. Those are just some examples of moments that I love about baseball and pitching. I love the pitch-by-pitch challenge. I also love the chemistry that develops on the field and in the dugout between the players. The pitcher-catcher combo, corner guys, middle guys, and the outfielders all taking care of business and finding a way to all be on the same page.

If you weren't playing baseball, what sport(s) would you be playing?
If I was not playing baseball I would probably be trying to play water polo or football.

What kinds of things do you like to do away from the field?
Off the field I go surfing, mountain biking, play water polo, and go 4 wheeling. I also like to go backpacking, fishing, hit at the driving range, and listen to country music.

When you attend CSUN, what do you intend to major in and why?
I am still not sure what I want to major in. I know that after school and baseball I want to join a branch of the military, specifically some sort of lifesaving unit perhaps as a coast guard rescue swimmer or the Navy Seals. It's something I have always thought about.

If professional baseball doesn't work out, what do you aspire to do after college?
Professional baseball is the plan after college ball, but if that is not an option, likely something in the military. I love to swim, and would love the chance to serve in the special forces.

Are you involved in the community? If so, what have you done?
I have over a thousand hours of community service with the Stinson Beach lifeguards. During the summer I participate in the junior lifeguard program as a junior instructor.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions? If so, what are they?
Yes, I am very superstitious! I have to wear a pair of black champion boxer briefs, red, orange and yellow billabong board shorts, a junior Olympics neon green t-shirt, striped socks, brown sperry topsiders, and light blue sunglasses. The day of games! Crazy I know. I also take a sip of Gatorade before every inning and clap my arms behind my back three times after fixing my cleats!

What number have you worn in high school? Does it have any significance to you?
Number 14 because that was the last number in the locker room my sophomore year when I got called up to varsity and I decided to keep it throughout high school. It would be 34, but my high school does not have the number.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would they be?
1: Nolan Ryan
2: Madison Baumgartner
I look up to both of them for how they compete on the mound and in life.
What is your favorite pre-game meal?
Fried chicken and barbeque sauce might be my all-time favorite thing to eat.

What is your favorite pre-game music?
 "Can't You See" – The Marshall Tucker Band
"God's Gonna Cut You Down" - Johnny cash
"Take It Outside" - Brantley Gilbert

If you could visit one country you've never been to, what would that be and why?
Probably Switzerland. I have heard the skiing is unbelievable! I also wouldn't mind Heli-skiing in the Alps.

Who was your favorite athlete growing up?
Nolan Ryan - RHP for the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. In my opinion the greatest pitcher of all time.

What is your favorite baseball team?
San Francisco Giants.

What sporting event would you like to see the most?
The Men's Water Polo Finals of the Olympics.

What's the most important thing Cal State Northridge fans should know about you?
I am always relaxed on the mound. I love the game, and I am always trying to have fun during the game while also challenging myself.

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