The state of Kansas isn’t exactly a recruiting pipeline for Mississippi State baseball.
But occasionally the Bulldogs’ coaching staff finds a gem in the Midwest that helps improve their club.
Such is the case with Ryan Cyr. MSU located the Leawood pitcher and were able to lure him to Starkville over offers from Kansas State, Wichita State, Air Force, Pittsburgh and interest from Arkansas.
“I think the thing that set this program apart was that coach (John) Cohen talked to my family and to me,” Cyr said. “When I went anywhere else it was the pitching coach. It was nice to know that I’m talking with the head honcho instead of just the pitching coach that really doesn’t make any other calls.”
Cyr went on to make a dozen appearances and one start during his freshman campaign. The 6-foot-3 right-hander sported a 1-1 record with a team-low 1.04 earned run average, 11 strikeouts and seven walks over 17 1/3 innings of work. He did not allow an earned run in his first nine outings and only surrendered two all season.
Cyr made his debut in the season opener against Florida Atlantic and pitched a perfect inning of relief with one strikeout.
“My adrenaline was pumping,” Cyr said. “I definitely was eager and ready to get out there. I was so excited to go pitch in my first game. I got two outings that weekend, which was really nice. It really set the stage for us that when we travel to play somewhere else it won’t be as cool.”
Cyr’s lone start came in the annual Governor’s Cup game against in-state rival Ole Miss in which he pitched four shutout innings.
Cyr was an All-American and two-time All-State selection at Blue Valley High School. He blew away hitters striking out 64 hitters in 42 2/3 innings as a senior primarily using his two-seam fastball.
After arriving at MSU and working with Butch Thompson and Wes Johnson, Cyr began to unleash his knuckle curve and change-up more to college hitters.
“Knowing what I do now with mixing up speeds and being able to throw all your pitches for strikes instead of an 89 to 91 mile per hour fastball that you blow by people, I think I would have dominated in high school,” Cyr said. “This level is a lot different. If you miss a spot, you get rocked.”
Cyr further expanded his repertoire with the Lima Locos in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League. He was a perfect 5-0 on the mound with a 1.54 ERA, 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 41 innings spanning seven starts.
Looking back on his decision to uproot and transplant to Mississippi for college appears to be the right choice for Cyr as he prepares for his second season with the Diamond Dogs.
“I’ve been really happy,” Cyr said. “Being a freshman, you’ve got to work your way into the pitching role and I’m trying to make my way into being a big role guy. But from the opportunities I had, I’ve been happy with the school as a whole and the classes. Everybody is nicer down here, I can say that.”