Like many Class of 2013 Penn graduates, Quakers senior right fielder Ryan Deitrich wasn’t ready to move on.
Unlike most of his classmates, he didn’t have to.
It’s true that Deitrich won’t be returning to Penn for his final year of eligibility after missing his freshman campaign due to injury, but he’ll still be playing college baseball — as a Duke Blue Devil.
Penn’s loss is Duke’s gain. As a senior for Penn, Deitrich led the Ivy League in batting average (.382) and also led the Quakers in runs, hits, slugging percentage, bases on balls and games played.
Unfortunately for Penn, Ivy League rules prevented Deitrich from returning to play for the Quakers as a graduate student, and heading into his senior year, he was too far along in his studies to stay with Penn baseball, so he started looking at other schools.
“I got in contact with my high school coach [Chris Drowne at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa.], who gave me the number of a couple coaches and it kind of went from there,” Deitrich said. “Chris went to high school with head coach at Wake Forest [Tom Walter], so I kind of asked them what the process would be like, because I didn’t really know how it works to be a fifth-year player, or what coaches wanted. And [Chris] also gave me the number of the two coaches recruiting at the Hill School already.”
Duke became the perfect match for Deitrich quickly.
“It worked out perfectly, [Duke] needed a right fielder, a new coach, needed someone to come in and play right away,” he said.
Deitrich emailed one of Duke’s assistant coaches and head coach Chris Pollard surprised Deitrich by calling him back.
And when Penn played at Duke in early March, Deitrich was playing to impress Pollard as well as beat his team.
“I found out the decision for admissions came out the day we played Duke,” Deitrich said. “So I found out right before the game that I had gotten admitted. So it was kind of an interesting situation, I was kind of trying out and he was kind of recruiting me. It was kind of awkward, but it was fun.”
Penn split its two-game series with Duke, but Deitrich turned out to be the big winner – Duke offered him a roster spot for 2013-14 the same night that Penn squared off with Duke.
“The ultimate goal is to play professional baseball,” Deitrich said. “If I have a good enough year, I can kind of progress to the point where I get a little bit more attention from scouts and things like that. Having a master’s in business will be a nice fallback if I need to go work on Wall Street or something like that, you know?”
Deitrich now joins a Duke team that finished last in the ACC Coastal Division in 2013 and exits a Penn program still looking for a new head coach after Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky announced earlier this month that former coach John Cole’s contract would not be renewed.
“I hope it all works out for the best [for Penn baseball], I’m sorry to see the coach that I had for four years go,” Deitrich said. “I think he was a real good coach, a real good guy.”
Of course, Deitrich is all about the future now. He’s headed for a collegiate summer league in western Massachusetts to play for a month and a half before classes at Duke start the first week of July.
“I don’t necessarily know the other guys on the team, but I do have another fifth-year guy coming with me from Holy Cross [Chris Kono], so we’re kind of in the same situation,” Deitrich said. “We’ll kind of have each other to rely on.”
What awaits Deitrich on the other side of his lone baseball season and 10-month business program with Duke may be unknown, but at least Deitrich brings to Durham one of the finest Ivy baseball pedigrees around.Comments powered by Disqus
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