PITCHER OF THE YEAR

Greg Ramirez aspires to go to college and become an engineer. On the baseball field this season, the Rio Mesa High junior built a reputation as one of the best players around.

Ramirez was 8-2 with a 3.21 earned-run average while helping the Spartans win the Channel League title.

Possessing exceptional stamina and excellent control of three pitches, Ramirez threw nine complete games in 12 starts and struck out 88 batters in 72 innings.

At the same time, the right-hander is developing the cerebral side of his game under the guidance of Rio Mesa Coach Richard Duran.

"Greg's learning why and when he needs to throw a certain pitch at a certain time," said Duran, who calls Ramirez the best Rio Mesa pitcher since 1988 graduate Bobby Ayala, now with the Seattle Mariners.

"He's learning that you don't have to do it all yourself to get people out, that you can use the defense behind you.

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