EMU senior Ryan Brewer’s fifth metacarpal is broken. Essentially, his left hand doesn't have a functioning pinkie knuckle. As a baseball player, his hand is pretty important, and for some this might be a debilitating injury.
Luckily, however, Ryan only broke his bone and not his spirit. The right-handed pitcher has a specially-made brace from the EMU training staff to allow him to continue competing.
“I don’t think it’s stopped me from pitching or from having the same mentality as I did before,” Ryan said.
And it hasn’t. Last week Ryan pitched a combined 6.0 scoreless innings of relief, finishing out both of EMU's come-from-behind wins against Guilford and Shenandoah.
Ryan called the win against Guilford the greatest comeback he’s ever been a part of. After being down 11-1, EMU came back and won the game in 13 innings.
“It was kind of like getting kicked in the stomach in the first half of the game,” he said, “and then we battled back.”
As for the win against Shenandoah…
“That was awesome,” Ryan said. “That was our first win since, I think, 2011 against them...it was just really nice to show that we can play against anyone in the league. We can beat anyone we put our minds to...Yeah, I loved it.”
Ryan was quick to point out that both of those wins were team efforts.
Head Coach Ben Spotts is proud of Ryan’s work this season.
“As a senior in our program he has a lot of experience and has pitched in a lot of big games for our program over his four years,” he said. “His competitiveness and work ethic are traits that he continues to use to his advantage when on the mound.”
Ryan first started playing baseball because it was something his dad and older brother did. His friends played as well.
“And it was the only thing I was good at,” he laughed.
Ryan is a psychology major with a minor in sociology. He plans to attend Liberty University for graduate school, and ultimately become a school counselor.
“I’m ready for the next chapter in life, but I want to savor the moments I have left, especially when it comes to baseball.”
This season, Ryan hopes that his Royals make it to the ODAC tournament for the first time in his collegiate career.
Coach Spotts believes Ryan will play a key role in that effort.
“It has been rewarding to see the growth of Ryan in our program, both physically and mentally,” explained Coach Spotts. “We are looking forward to him playing a big role as we make a push for the ODAC Tournament.”
Ryan is willing to put in the work to make this dream a reality.
“As long as we win I don’t care what role I’m in, what I do, as long as we come out on the winning side of a game. My goal is definitely to make it to the tournament and experience that before I graduate.”
And thanks to the exciting wins against Guilford and Shenandoah, EMU still has a chance of making it into the eight-team field.
“It’s still all up in the air. The top of the conference kind of has their foot in the door already and then seeds five through twelve are just kind of open,” Ryan said. “It's anybody’s race.”
-- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern