The Condordia-St.Paul Golden Bears have added a set of twins to their 2017-2018 roster. These twins don’t go by Minnie and Paul and won’t be playing their home games at Target Field (yet).
Ross and Ryan Bastyr are joining the Golden Bears next season after both signed their National Letter of Intent early last week. Although twins and living under the same roof, the recruiting process was a little different than one may have expected.
“We recruited Ross and Ryan separately,” Concordia St. Paul Athletic Director and Head Coach Lunch McKenzie said. “They wanted to be treated as individuals. From our end, it was no different than having any other recruits in.”
When asked if they were a packaged deal, Ross and Ryan laughed and said “no”. Both Ross and Ryan said the coaching staff was a huge reason for their choice. Other than top-notch coaches, academics and proximity to home helped solidify their choices.
“My brother and I didn’t know that we would go to the same college,” Ryan said. “But it is the way the process worked out. I could not be happier to be teammates with him for another four years.”
Like the Bastyrs, pitching coach, John Gaub, also had the privilege to play baseball with his brother.
“Some of my best memories were being able to play baseball with him,” Coach Gaub said. “The Bastyrs have a very special opportunity to continue playing together through their college years and I am very excited for the change to help these young men grow as pitchers as well as individuals.”
Although phenomenal baseball players, Concordia-St. Paul is getting so much more than that with these twin signees.
When both Ross and Ryan are not on the diamond, studying, or at FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) or HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), they both find time to volunteer and give back to their community.
“I volunteer at my church because I realize I have been blessed with the opportunity to play baseball,” Ryan said. “It is the right thing to do to give back a little time.”
“I volunteer at my church and school,” Ross said. “I have been very fortunate in baseball and school and if I can help people through giving my time I think that is a positive experience.”
The twins carry a GPA above a 4.0 and both also scored in the 30’s on their ACTs.
Both brothers enjoy the rigor in their daily course work.
“I am a hard-working student who likes a challenge in the classroom,” Ryan said. “I know that tougher high school classes will only help me down the road in college.”
Ross talked about the route he takes for his success.
“I am a kind of student that needs to study a lot to be successful. I love lectures with teachers giving you the information.”
With academics at the forefront of their life, Ross and Ryan aspire to be both medical professions.
“I want to go into physical therapy” Ryan said. “It will be fulfilling to help people and especially athletes get back to their peak performance.”
“Pharmacist,” Ross said.
As star students, award winning athletes, and outstanding citizens, both boys took a step back are also thankful for their parents.
“[Our] parents have supported [us] in countless ways since the beginning of [our] baseball careers,” Ryan said. “We are grateful for them [encouraging] us to join the Minnesota Blizzard back when we were only 11 years old. They gave [us] every opportunity to achieve our goal of playing college baseball, and I am very thankful for that.”
The Golden Bears finished with a record of 30-15 last year and are looking to improve on that come this spring. Concordia-St.Paul is a familiar home to Minnesota Blizzard players. There are currently eight former Blizzard players rostered for the Golden Bear’s baseball team. McKenzie weighed in on how the Minnesota Blizzard has impacted their recruiting process.
“We expect our players to be talented, motivated, and respectful, on and off the field and in the classroom,” McKenzie said. “All of the Blizzard players we have signed over the years fit this mold. The Blizzard coaches give us open and honest evaluations regarding the players’ physical skills, as well as their mental and emotion makeups. Adam and his crew want to see the kids succeed in more ways than just baseball. All of these factors assist us in making our final assessment as far as whether to recruit a young man or not.”
The Bastyrs are just another example of what McKenzie talked about. Ross and Ryan are kids who live out the Blizzard Big 5 in their daily lives, on and off the baseball field.