Sunday, July 28, 2002

Ex-Bearcat adjusts to new game


Minges: Baseball threw other curves

By Gary Estwick, gestwick@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The transition from softball to baseball has been a challenge for Ryan Minges. But the former University of Cincinnati baseball player is having fun doing it.

        “It's a lot less stressful to play softball,” said Minges, who played baseball at UC from 1999-2001.

        He is one of five former college players on Cooper Sports/Specialty Vending/Worth in the Cincinnati Metro Softball Tournament. The others: Jeff Haiber (Miami University), Kenny Burdine (Bowling Green), Jason Roesch (Cumberland University) and Kevin Barger (Tennessee-Martin).

        They played Saturday night against Tiny Town Pizza/ TPS in the Major division, the highest division at the tournament. Minges' team is ranked No.2 in the Cincinnati Softball News Manager's Poll.

        Minges has played softball for more than a year. The biggest difference between baseball and softball, he said, is the premium on hitting.

        “Baseball is 70 percent defense and 30 percent hitting,” said Minges, 24. “Softball is 90 percent hitting and 10 percent defense.”

        There's more scoring strategy in softball. Teams can hit only a certain number of home runs, depending on the level of play (12 home runs in the Major division), so the idea is to load the bases when the sluggers come up.

        There's also pitching.

        “You have to adjust to a ball coming in at 4 or 5miles an hour as compared to a fastball at 94, 95 miles an hour,” Minges said.

        Whether it's baseball or softball, both run in his family. His brother Tyler is in his fourth season with the Cleveland Indians' farm system, playing for Single-A Kinston. Justin is a sophomore pitcher for the Bearcats. And Jason, the eldest, is a veteran on the local softball scene.

        There's one thing Ryan doesn't miss about baseball.

        “The stress,” Minges said.

       



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