Ryan Ward isn’t one to let his confidence waver.
Two years ago, the Millbury, Mass., native expected to start right away at Bryant University despite the fact that he was making the rather large jump from Division 4 high school baseball in Massachusetts to Division 1 college ball. A year ago, Ward expected to bounce back from a freshman season in which he did — in fact — start from Game 1 before seeing what became a medical redshirt season come to an end in Game 9, when he broke his wrist diving for a ball in left field against Liberty.
Bounce back is just what Ward did, to the tune of the greatest offensive season of any Bryant player in program history. He became the school’s first Div. 1 player to hit over .400 (.409) for an entire season. He earned 2018 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and set program records in hits (101) and total bases (157).
“Coach (Steve) Owens told me I would contribute right away; that was part of the reason I came here,” Ward said. “So, I was expecting that. Obviously, I didn’t expect all of those things to happen, but I knew I could play right away.”