PREP BASEBALL

Griffith all-star Jesse Smith learned by playing against future teammate

2013-07-11T17:15:00Z 2013-07-11T23:32:07Z Griffith all-star Jesse Smith learned by playing against future teammateHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

Jesse Smith's first baseball game against Zac Ryan came when both were freshmen.

Griffith's Smith lost to Andrean's Ryan and newspapers had pictures of both pitchers in the paper.

"His mechanics were right on point and I had a couple flaws in mine," Smith said. "(Panthers coach Brian Jennings) showed me how Zac was and how I was. He said 'You have to pitch against him for the next three years, you better fix this.'"

In those four years, Smith and Ryan faced each other five times. Ryan won four, Smith won the last one, a 2-1 victory in the Plymouth Regional semifinal.

"I took that to heart and started to work on fixing those things," Smith said.

For their last games before Ryan heads off to Georgia Tech and Smith leaves for South Suburban, they'll be on the same team.

Beginning today, the Northwest Crossroads Conference pair will pitch for the North All-Star Team in a three-game series against the South team at Wabash College.

"I learned a lot from watching (Ryan), especially how to stay relaxed and calm," Smith said. "It's going to be pretty cool to be on the same team."

Jennings said Smith's addition to the North All-Star Team came because of the size of Smith's heart.

"He's not the biggest or the strongest, and he doesn't throw the hardest, but you can't measure a kid by their heart," Jennings said. "He made everyone else better just by his presence. He made them work hard, he made them accountable, he made them compete, he was a leader.

"It was hard for those guys not to have their competitive juices going when he was on the mound. Even me."

The North team will be led by Kankakee Valley head coach Doug Greenlee, who faced Smith once this year when the senior struck out nine batters in five innings.

Joining Smith as a North All-Star is former Babe Ruth teammate Ryan Burvan. Smith said the two plan to drive to the weekend's festivities together.

"It'll be really cool to be on a team with Zach Plesac and Zac Ryan and Ryan Burvan, all these kids," Smith said. "It's a great opportunity to play against the best and with some of the best in the state."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best boys soccer team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses