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The Lavarn???Way

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Courtesy: Don Leypoldt, Manchester Silkworms

Some observers felt that Yale sophomore catcher Ryan Lavarnway couldn???t duplicate his attention grabbing 25 game hit streak during this past spring.??They were right.

Lavarnway opened his summer for the Manchester Silkworms of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) by tallying safeties in a mere 20 straight games.

So much for the conventional wisdom that says the NECBL???s wooden bats are adverse to hitters.

???You always have to go out and work hard every day,??? says Lavarnway on the streaks.?? ???It never really carries over, as much as some people like to think it does.??It takes a level of concentration that I didn???t know before this year.??You need to focus on every pitch on every at bat.???

Lavarnway???s focus in 2007 has been uncanny.??Simply put, his past spring was one of the greatest seasons in Ivy League history: He led the NCAA in batting average (.467) and slugging percentage (.873), set Yale single season records in those two categories plus hits (70), home runs (14), RBIs (55), doubles (17) and total bases (131), earned All-American honors from Baseball America and, was a semi-finalist for the College Baseball Foundation???s National Player of the Year and won the Ivy League Player of the Week three straight times.??

And to think that Yale was the only school that offered the Woodland Hills, California native an official visit.?? There is a reason that the Elis have their academic reputation.

Lavarnway explained, ???I wanted to get away from Southern California for the college experience.??I went to a showcase at Stanford, which required a certain GPA.??All of the Ivy League schools were there.??I got home from the showcase, had a few messages on my machine and Yale was one of them.??I think I jumped so high that I think my head hit the ceiling, I was that excited.??I loved it from the day I stepped on campus.???

For Don Leypoldt's full feature on Yale standout Ryan Lavarnway as seen on, please click here.

- A.S.