By Joshua Beneteau
Ryerson Rams ace pitcher Bryan Vardzel has been named to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) roster of the OUA/Ontario Colleges Athletics Association all-star game at the Rogers Centre on May 11. The roster was selected by OUA coaches and for the first time the game will pit university all-stars with collage all-stars.
“I can definitely say that I was surprised with the nomination from the OUA,” Vardzel said. “I tried to compete at the highest level possible [during the season]… so on an individual level I am very thankful for the nomination, but at the same time I must thank my teammates for making it possible as well.”
Vardzel, a third-year marketing management student, was a workhorse for the Rams this season, starting eight games and pitching 47.2 innings — ranking Vardzel second in the OUA. He finished the season with a 1-5 record, threw 30 strikeouts and walked eight batters.
“Bryan was our most reliable and durable pitcher,” head coach Ben Rich said. “He always gave us a chance to win, and he always wants the baseball. As a coach, that’s exactly what you are looking for from the ace of your staff.”
The announcement caps the first season for the Ryerson baseball team. Although the team finished 3-19, Rich said this announcement shows that his team is on the right track.
“Bryan’s all-star selection shows that we aren’t just a hodge-podge group of players thrown together; these athletes have real talent and ability,” head coach Rich said. “There’s no doubt that this helps us assert ourselves as a legitimate and competitive baseball program in the OUA.”
While Vardzel has been named to the OUA roster and plays more than 70 games from April to October “to stay competitive and mentally focused,” he said he still has personal goals he wants to achieve to help with the Rams overall success next season.
“We had many chances this past season to win games, but due to a lack of experience we seemed to crumble down the stretch,” he said. “After another off season of training and a full season under our belts, I believe that we will take the league by surprise next year.”