Back in the late 1980’s, I played a PC baseball game that I think was called “Hardball!” I don’t remember a ton about the game, besides that my team could always do whatever it wanted against the computer, and my lineup had guys hitting .750 and stealing 200 bases. Truly video-game numbers.

So Ryan McCarty, the two-time Staunton shortstop, isn’t exactly hitting .750 for Penn State Abington, but his numbers are as close to “video-game” status as I’ve seen in quite some time.

In 32 games and 139 at-bats so far this spring, McCarty is hitting .511/.568/1.115, with 65 runs scored, 18 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 61 RBIs, 21 walks and only 10 strikeouts, and even 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts (stats through April 20). Holy smokes.

He’s already the school all-time leader in hits, home runs, RBIs, runs, and doubles, and his runs and RBI season totals are already single-season records. He leads his team in virtually every single offensive category (except walks), and leads all of Division-III in home runs, hits, slugging percentage (he’s the only hitter over 1.000), runs, tied in batting average, and RBIs. He’s also tied for third in doubles, and 11th in on-base percentage. He’s been named player of the week in the United East Conference three times already. I’ve never seen anything like it. I imagine if he keeps this up, he will win many, many awards at the end of the season.

Here are some of his best games so far:

  • 2/19 Guilford: 4-7, four runs, four RBIs, double, two home runs, walk
  • 2/20 Guilford: 3-5, four runs, four RBIs, two home runs, walk
  • 3/6 Concordia: 4-5, two runs, RBI, two doubles, triple
  • 3/7 Husson: 3-6, two runs, two RBIs, double, home run
  • 3/26 St.Mary’s: 3-4, four runs, seven RBIs, home run, walk
  • 3/31 Gwynedd Mercy: 4-5, six runs, four RBIs, double, two home runs
  • 4/2 Penn St-Berks: 4-5, four runs, three RBIs, home run, three stolen bases
  • 4/9 Lancaster Bible: 4-4, three runs, three RBIs, two doubles, two home runs
  • 4/13 Muhlenberg: 3-5, three runs, four RBIs, two home runs
  • 4/20 Moravian: 4-6, four runs, three RBIs, double

He’s been doing this for a while now, as he ended his 2021 summer with Staunton on a tear. This is what I wrote in his writeup as the 6th best hitter in the entire league:

On July 4, he was hitting .288/.407/.515- good, but not necessarily Top 15 worthy. All he did from that point (15 games, including the playoffs) is go 24-55, with 18 runs, eight doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs, and 10/16 BB/K. I think it’s safe to say he switched into a higher gear!

Overall, McCarty hit .356/.445/.615 in 104 regular season at-bats, with 29 runs scored, nine doubles, three triples, four home runs, 16 RBIs, 17/24 BB/K, and 17 stolen bases. He finished fifth in the league in batting average, seventh in OPS, tenth in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging, eighth in total bases (64), tied for eighth in home runs, second in triples, tied for fifth in doubles, and tied for eighth in runs scored.

He has certainly carried over that hot hitting into the current season. McCarty said that his mental outlook is what changed. He said, “I think the biggest thing was developing a growth mindset over the years and creating a stronger mental game. I used to be so number oriented with goals years ago and it not only put an expectation on myself [but] it also was a ceiling. I’ve done my best to develop a stronger mindset and I think things are just starting to come together!” I think this performance is the epitome of “coming together” for sure.

McCarty and his teammates are at Wells College for a three-game set this weekend; let’s see if he keeps up his torrid pace!