Baseball: Jonny Dyer
April 24, 2002
The first time he stepped on the field in a game at Sunken Diamond, freshman Jonny Dyer struck out the side in the ninth inning and after finishing business, promptly ran off the field. The only problem is that the right-handed pitcher forgot to shake hands with the opposing team or even his own catcher.
'It's a running joke on the team,' said Dyer. 'I actually ran off the field the first three times I pitched and everyone had to push me back onto the field. Now they always remind me about it before I go out there.'
While he may not have the postgame rituals down, Dyer has proved himself on the hill. In eight appearances, he has posted a 0.90 ERA and notched six strikeouts. His immediate and powerful impact has been a surprise to Cardinal fans and even to Dyer himself. 'The best part has been getting to play,' said the San Antonio native. 'I didn't think I would play at all this year. I am really enthusiastic and playing has given me great motivation to go out there and work hard.'
In only 10.0 innings of work, Dyer has recorded two wins, both coming on Tuesday nights against local rivals. On February 24 against Santa Clara, Dyer induced a double play from the only batter he faced and claimed his first collegiate victory when catcher Ryan Garko hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. On April 9, Dyer had to work a little harder for his win and pitched a perfect eighth inning versus San Jose State before the Cardinal scored four times in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-4 victory.
His breaking ball and great control have allowed Dyer to solidify his role as a middle reliever. Dyer, who has surpassed all expectations for his freshman year, knows that he must always be prepared to make an appearance.
'I just try to stay in the game,' said Dyer. 'I like to talk on the sidelines and be into the game emotionally because it helps me compete on the hill.'
While he keeps his head in the game and his focus on baseball during the season, Dyer keeps up his hobby and interest in rocketry with a web page he developed when he was in high school. His site is not only comprehensive and detailed but is widely referenced on the internet by other experimental rocketry enthusiasts.
'I've always been into building and got into rocketry my sophomore year of high school,' said the National Merit Finalist. 'I built the website for a school project and people wrote me about it so I kept adding to the site because people were interested in following the projects' developments.'
Now at college, Dyer struggles with managing his time and never seeming to have enough time to do things like update his web page, but he has benefited from the advice of his fellow pitchers and older teammates.
'I am friends with Tim Cunningham, and he has really help me with being patient and telling me that my time would come,' said Dyer. 'He has this phrase, 'the cream always rises to the top,' which has helped me be optimistic.'
Cunningham's adage has been accurate and luckily for Stanford fans and Dyer, the Cardinal didn't have to wait long for the cream to rise and to reap the benefits of Dyer's talent.
by Amanda Canevaro