Home Sports Local Sports NMMI’s Ricky Royball shines in fall ball

NMMI’s Ricky Royball shines in fall ball

Former Goddard flame thrower Ricky Roball stars in fall ball for NMMI. (J.T. Keith Photo)

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Former Goddard baseball pitcher Ricky Royball felt like he needed another year of seasoning before continuing his journey of trying to reach the next level in his baseball career.

As a second-year cadet at NMMI, Royball can tell the difference in what his freshman year was like and his second year. Last year, Royball felt overwhelmed by the grind of learning new things every day, the classroom and the competition to play.

Royball credits New Mexico Military Institute coach Chris Cook with making the biggest impact on his baseball career at the college level.

“Coach Cook is a great coach,” Royball said. “He is always there, not even as a coach but as a person. He is ready to talk to you whenever you need him.”

Royball thinks that by being on the NMMI campus it has made things easier for him to adjust.

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“I love being here,” Royball said. “I love playing baseball every day. Whenever you come out of class, and you can play ball it is a great day.”

Being able to report the first week of August and play baseball until mid-November helps keep his pitching sharp. The Broncos either are traveling to play other teams, or intersquad games against themselves. NMMI will travel to Tucson, Arizona, as well as Albuquerque to play games.

“I love the fact that we play baseball nonstop sometimes,” Royball said. “We wake up and play baseball. We must take care of our academics across the street, but when you cross that bridge, I’m like yes! I get to play baseball. In order to succeed you have to be focused. I love the military.”

Royball credits his mother (Mandy) for his strict upbringing with his ability to succeed in the military environment. He feels comfort in knowing that his family is a phone call away should he need anything.

This is an important year for Royball, because of his desire to pitch at the Division I level next year. Already he has attracted interest from some universities. Royball thanks Goddard High School baseball coach Alan Edmonson for coaching him hard, yet telling him of his potential to be a good pitcher.

The lefty throws in the mid-80s with natural tail on his fastball. Royball will throw a fastball, slider and changeup.

“He is a guy that we recruited out of high school,” Cook said. “He has good excellent stuff, and does a good job on the mound for us. He had a good spring for us last year in a couple of different roles, as a starter, and reliever out of the bullpen. He’s a guy whom we need to make sure he’s here in the spring and pitching for us. He makes us better. I fully expect him to be in the mix as a top four starter.”


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