Ryan Gerber off to fast start as lead-off hitter for Palm Beach Atlantic

Posted by : | On : 02-08-2013 | Comments (0)
To get a hit in the first at-bat of the season can be a momentum booster for the grueling schedule ahead.

Ryan Gerber, a graduate of Canyon del Oro High School and Pima Community College, tripled in his first at-bat of the season and also did it in his first plate appearance as Palm Beach Atlantic University’s lead-off hitter.

“To hit a lead-off triple to start the year was just an awesome experience,” Gerber said. “It felt good to not only get my season off to a good start, but more importantly set the tone for the team's season in the long run and to get the first game of the year off to a good start.”

The shortstop finished the season opener with two hits, two RBIs, two runs, and a stolen base in a 7-2 victory for the Sailfish over Valdosta State in the Comfort Suites Classic, in Valdosta, Ga.

The junior is in his first season at Palm Beach Atlantic, after spending 2012 at Pima. He decided to attend the university located north of Miami because of the great baseball weather and the rich baseball tradition that the school had to offer.

At PBA, Geber has had the opportunity to learn from head coach Kent Bottenfield, a former major league pitcher. Bottenfield is in his second season as the coach of the Sailfish, taking over the program for Hall-of-Fame catcher Gary Carter who passed away in February 2012.

“It is a privilege to play for someone who has made it to the Major Leagues and been to an All-Star Game,” said Gerber about playing for Bottenfield. “He is very baseball smart and knows how to manage a team. It's also very cool to talk to him about striking out (Derek) Jeter and playing in an All-Star Game. It makes me more motivated to be successful after hearing about his success.”

Pima assistant coach Josh Hinkle had connections to Palm Beach Atlantic and helped Gerber, along with former Aztecs’ Juan Vega and Ryan Cota become members of the Sailfish.

PBA is the third team on which Gerber and Cota have been teammates. They were also on CDO's  4A Division-I State Championship team in 2009 .

“I have been playing baseball with Ryan since I was a freshman in high school. Playing in college so far away from home takes our communication and relationship to a whole new level, not to mention we live in the dorms together.”

In Gerber’s senior year of high school at CDO, he batted .512 with ten triples and 45 RBIs and was named to the Arizona All-State team.

The Tucson native said he owes his success in baseball to his father, Michael.

“Without his persistent encouragement and his unwavering commitment to me, there is no way that I turn out to be the player I am, or even the man I am today."


This article was part of our weekly features series. Check out more of our weekly features by clicking on the link below.

Baseball Tucson Weekly Features

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