NHS junior Ryan Sypher was invited to play for the USA Select Team in Telluride July 7-9. Sypher was selected based on his performance for the Niwot Legion B team during the Battle of Omaha Tournament in June by Don Mitchell, USA Select Director of Operations.Mitchell is a former collegiate and professional player who later spent four years as the Diamondbacks’ Scouting Director. USA Select Baseball sponsors competition at both the national and international level with coaches from collegiate and professional ranks. Mitchell said, “Ryan is an excellent hitter and his mechanics are outstanding.”
Sypher played very well, starting at third base and collecting five hits in 11 at bats, including two doubles. He also drove in five runs and got on base five times via walks and twice after being hit by pitches. As a result of his performance, Tim Hausbursin of Scottsdale College and Ryan Dyer, President of USA Select, asked Sypher to play for them in the Arizona Fall Classic and the Las Vegas Desert Fall Classic later this summer.
Sean Ratliff (Niwot) is leading the Binghamton Mets in hitting with a .332 batting average. Ratliff, who plays centerfield for the Mets AA franchise, also has 15 homeruns and 44 RBI’s. He left the Aug. 18 game against New Hampshire in the third inning and has not played again through games of Aug. 21. Ratliff had three hits and a scored a run in an 11-9 win over Reading Aug. 14. A day earlier he homered in a 6-5 win over Reading but was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing a called third strike. Ratliff was mentioned as one of the Met’s rising stars in a New York Times article Aug. 22.
Dylan Kaczeus, who will be a senior at Niwot High School this year, pitched the final three innings of a game for the Longmont Twins against the Rocky Mountain Lobos and picked up the win. Kaczeus came in to pitch in the 7th inning with one out and two on base, and struck out the side. He allowed only one unearned run in his three innings of work. NHS grad Ryan Strufing pitched the first six innings and left with the Lobos leading 2-0, but the Twins came back and won 5-3 in 9 innings.
The Twins beat Greeley Gojo in the semifinals of the state tournament with Strufing hitting a 3-run homerun in the eighth inning to tie the game. Longmont went on to win, 8-7. The Twins ended up in the finals in Legion A against the Fairview Hisco Knights and lost in the bottom of the ninth, 13-12 after taking a 12-11 lead in the top of the ninth. The Twins finished second in the state.
Niwot Baseball, Inc., under the direction of Craig McBride, will again offer a fall baseball program to NHS players. The program is designed to be primarily instructional. Niwot plans to play teams from Centaurus, Roosevelt, Longmont, Skyline and Mead. Niwot Baseball, Inc., will also host a preliminary fall try-out and evaluation for eighth-graders who will attend NHS next year. The tryout will be held Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m. at the varsity field. Players will be evaluated, but teams will not be selected until next spring. McBride said, “It is a good time to meet the coaches that run the summer programs.”
Michael Olsen (Niwot) completed the season in Texas on July 31 with a loss to the Alpine (TX) Cowboys in the deciding game of a three-game championship series. Olsen had been traded from the Desert Valley Mountain Lions to the Las Cruces (NM) Vaqueros for this championship series.
Olsen then drove to Wichita for the 76th Annual National Baseball Congress World Series to play with the Denver Cougars. The NBC World Series is the premiere event of the summer for amateur and pro players who are not under contract with a professional team. Olsen’s contract with the Continental Baseball League had expired July 31, so he was free to play with any team that would have him, which turned out to be the Cougars, who finished third.
Olsen was selected as the All-American DH of the entire NBC World Series. He hit .364 for the 6-game tournament, with two doubles, a homerun, and 12 RBI’s.