West Ranch alum named GSAC baseball Freshman of the Year 

Ryan Shakelvich pitches. Photo courtesy of Master's Athletics.

The Master’s University baseball freshman Ryan Shalkevich set out a goal to throw in about 10 innings in his first year of collegiate baseball. The former West Ranch pitcher earned his spot in the bullpen nearly as quickly as he reached the goal, as Shalkevich was named the Golden State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. 

Shalkevich finished the year with a 3.41 ERA, 37 strikeouts, and 31 hits allowed in 34.1 innings on the hill. 

The reliever has a consistent approach of just aiming to throw strikes and living with the results. 

“If I execute and throw strikes I should be successful enough if I throw the right pitch, if I get in the right spot,” Shalkevich said. “Then if they hit it, they hit it. I’m just standing out there hoping it goes all right.” 

The race for the Freshman of the Year award was tight at the end of the season. With Shalkevich showing his consistency as a reliever and in the pack for the race, the stars aligned and he was given the chance to start in TMU’s second to last game of the season.  

Shalkevich was excited for the start, something very foreign to the lifelong reliever. 

“I honestly have probably started one game in my life, and I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Shalkevich said. “I just took my warm-up a little bit slower than usual, and made sure to stay hydrated during the game, and I was just rolling with it.” 

The freshman had some issues in the first inning but locked in after that and finished his first collegiate start with five hits, four punchouts and one earned run through 5.2 innings. 

As a reliever, the West Ranch alum was consistent all year. Shalkevich had two four-game stretches of scoreless outings, with just three walks in those games. 

Ryan Shakelvich pitches. Photo courtesy of Master’s Athletics.

No matter whether he was shining on the hill or going through common freshman struggles, his team and coaches picked him back up and reassured the reliever he belonged. 

“Even after bad outings, I had a couple games in the season where my coach pulled me aside and he said, ‘Look, don’t worry about it. You’re my guy. I’m gonna keep going to you.’ That was big.” 

Master’s finished the year 23-19 with an 8-16 record in GSAC play. Even with a positive record and numerous players shining at Lou Herwaldt Stadium, it was a year of heartbreak as the team dropped seven games by less than two runs.  

Shalkevich is excited for the growth of the program and the potential of the 2025 team.  

“Personal goals, I’ve just been trying to put on some weight, put on some velocity this summer, and just trying to get better every day,” Shalkevich said. “For the team, I know we’re getting a few solid guys coming in, so we’ll definitely be looking to make a playoff push and represent the Lord on the field.” 

TMU may look for more starts from the decorated Shalkevich and he may be in for another big jump in his workload. As a senior at West Ranch, the reliever threw in 23.1 innings en route to 17 strikeouts and a 2.40 ERA.  

His first collegiate year entailed nearly a 150% bump in his usage but either way, the soon-to-be sophomore is just aiming to improve and help his team win in any fashion. 

“I like those high-pressure situations. I feel like I do alright in them,” Shalkevich said. “Starting a game is a whole different perspective. There’s a whole lot more preparation to perform better in those situations. It’s a really different game. I would love to start, but if they need me to do something else, I’m willing to do that as well.” 

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