ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Ryan Padilla is a decorated local baseball player. While at La Cueva High School, Padilla was awarded four first team all state honors. He then went on to have a great freshman season with the Lobo baseball team. He had five home runs, 49 RBI’s, with a .353 batting average. He was ranked sixth in batting among all freshmen at the Division I Level.
He was anticipated to do big things while at UNM, but that hasn’t been the case. In his sophomore season, Padilla only had three home runs and ended up with a .266 batting average. In his last season as a junior, Padilla fell in numbers even more, only having one homerun and a .252 batting average.
Padilla is now a senior and he has been working on both his swing and the mental side of the game, as if you play baseball you know it is always hard to get out of a slump.
“The approach I am going with now is I don’t see myself as a homerun hitter. I would see myself as a doubles guy. If I get a hold of one, I get a hold of one, but I think the thing that will help me as a player overall is to really hit those gaps”, said Padilla.
Head coach Ray Birmingham really believes in Padilla and even said that he is one of his favorite Lobos. This is why Padilla is a captain on this years Lobo team, and he believes it is just his turn to lead.
“If they need me to come in and play first, if they need me to pinch hit, play in the outfield whatever it is. I am willing to accept what I need to do. If they want me to go throw on the mound, who knows, Nah, that won’t happen, but I mean anything I can do to help the team. I am going to give it my all,” said Padilla.
The Lobos play their first game on Feb. 13 in the Surprise Tournament in Arizona. They will play some stiff competition out there including Oregon State. Their first game will be that Friday against Michigan State at 5 p.m.