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Eastport-South Manor's Ryan Foran takes home Gibson Award

Eastport-South Manor's Ryan Foran, left, stands with Center

Eastport-South Manor's Ryan Foran, left, stands with Center Moriches' Paul Gibson III, son of Paul Gibson, after receiving the Gibson Award during the Suffolk County Baseball Coaches Association 2018 Banquet in Holbrook on Wednesday. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Ryan Foran hates losing more than he likes winning. He didn’t lose much during a prolific senior season for the Eastport-South Manor baseball team.

The righthander pitched 62 2⁄3 innings, compiling a 1.11 ERA, a .133 batting average against and a 9-1 record, leading the Sharks to a Suffolk League V title.

Foran, who sits in the mid-80s with his fastball and can throw his hammer 12-6 curveball for strikes in any count, was named the Paul Gibson Award winner, given to the top pitcher in Suffolk each year by the Suffolk County Baseball Coaches Association.

“I definitely exceeded my expectations,” Foran, a senior who will take his talents to St. Joseph’s (L.I.) said. “I just wanted to get a couple more wins than I had last year, and I definitely surpassed that.”

Few pitchers started the season as dominant as Foran. He didn’t allow an earned run until his sixth start of the spring, an impressive feat considering the chilly temperatures that plagued the early stages of the season.

ESM coach Jim McGowan said much of Foran’s success came from his ability to locate both of his pitches.

“It’s just his location,” McGowan said. “He worked on a changeup in the offseason, and he tried it a little early, but he was so dominant with his two pitches that we felt that he didn’t have to use it this year. He can spot his fastball pretty much anywhere in the zone, and he would throw his curveball in fastball counts.”

A fierce competitor not unlike past Gibson Award winner Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays, Foran’s three-year career included 10 complete games (three shutouts) and 159 strikeouts in 151 2⁄3 innings. He went 17-4 with three saves and a 1.20 ERA.

Foran said the coaches at St. Joseph’s told him that he’ll be a starter at the next level. He said he doesn’t mind relieving, but he gets a special thrill from starting games.

“I like starting and finishing what I can do,” he said. “It’s fun to come in and help your teammates and finish the game, but it’s nice to finish what you started.”

As if his prowess on the mound wasn’t enough, Foran was also the team’s cleanup hitter and led the team in batting average and RBIs. He did whatever ESM needed him to do.

“Ryan’s best quality is his competitive nature,” McGowan said. “He’s just as tough as they come. He hates to lose more than he likes to win.”

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