|Ryan Forsythe - Photo courtesy Israel Baseball League
**For Immediate Release**
To Israel via OPSU . . . Ryan Forsythe
- by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 08-16-07
Goodwell, Okla. - In the early portion of this decade, arguably the best overall player in the Heartland Conference was Ryan Forsythe of Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He made All-Conference in each of his three years as an Aggie and carried a lofty .398 career batting average.
During his collegiate career (2003-2005), Forsythe was known as a “Big 5 Player” . . . with great ability to hit for average, hit for power, and run, throw, and field.
After playing minor league professional baseball in Las Vegas as well as in Canada for a team in Saskatchewan, earlier this year Forsythe was one of a select few Americans to be chosen to play in the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League (IBL). Presently, he is one of the best players competing for the Netanya Tigers.
There are six teams in the IBL – The Tigers, the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, the Modi’in Miracle, the Petach Tikva Pioneers, the Ra'anana Express, and the Tel Aviv Lightning. Each team plays a 45 game regular season and the squads are made up of international players from the United States, Canada, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Europe, and, of course, Israel.
The sport of baseball is rapidly gaining popularity in Israel and the IBL prides itself on fast action, excitement, and fun for the entire family. All games are seven inning contests and if games are tied after regulation play, they are decided by a Home Run Derby. There is usually a great deal of entertainment before, during and after the games including vendor promotions, speed dating, sack races, sumo wrestling competitions, karaoke, and other events.
As of July 29, the Tigers rank fourth in the IBL with an 11-14 record and Forsythe has appeared in every game. He leads his team in at-bats and doubles, is second in RBIs, and is hitting .245 against some exceptional international pitchers.
An outfielder during his OPSU days, Forsythe is also seeing duty as an infielder for the Tigers. As an Aggie, he usually had the dirtiest uniform on the field thanks to his tenacious play and more than once had to have his shoulder popped back in place after slamming into the fence.
Forsythe was also a good student during his time at OPSU – graduating in 2005 - and watching the Arizona native play for the Aggies was very exciting because of his ability to make good things happen when he was in the field or with a bat in his hand.
Continuing to follow the baseball exploits of this exceptional young athlete is going to be great deal of fun for everyone.