Greenwich native, Keystone senior Riscica eager to enjoy last season

Greenwich native and GHS alumnus Ricky Riscica gets ready to swing for the fences during a recent game for Keystone College. — photo courtesy of the Keystone College athletic department

Greenwich native and GHS alumnus Ricky Riscica gets ready to swing for the fences during a recent game for Keystone College. — photo courtesy of the Keystone College athletic department

For Greenwich native and GHS alumnus Ricky Riscica, this year he became very aware of the old adage about how time flies.

Gone are the days of wearing a helmet a few sizes too big while trying so hard to hit the ball off a Tee and figuring out which base to run towards. While it seems like just yesterday, the Keystone College baseball captain is preparing for his final collegiate season of playing baseball.

“It’s definitely bittersweet for me and I have mixed emotions,” Riscica said. “I worked hard to get here and a lot of people helped me along the way. The fact that my senior season is finally here is exciting because I think we have a veteran team and all have that goal of getting to the World Series.

“I look back at my time playing, going all the way back to T-ball and then high school, it seems like it went by too quick,” added Riscica. “I am absolutely excited to be here and really looking forward to the season, but I know when it’s over, I’m going to wish I had more time.”

Just like last season, Riscica will be one of the team’s captains and he couldn’t be more honored.

“To see this team, it’s very exciting,” Riscica said. “We all have that goal to get to the World Series and to be one of the leader on this team is very exciting. A lot of us have been playing together for at least two years now, so I think we are a very experienced team.”

During last season, Riscica was strong with his bat. He played in 39 games for the Giants and batted .363, with a slugging percentage of .478 and an on-base percentage of .459. In 41 total hits, the Greenwich native had 13 doubles, 21 runs scored and 22 runs batted in.

During Riscica’s junior season, the Giants advanced to the championship game of the regional tournament.

However, Riscica and his squad fell one game short of advancing to the Division III World Series, losing to Kean University 6-1.

“We have a lot of position players coming back from that team and a lot of upperclassmen,” Riscica said. “We have that drive since we were so close to going to the World Series last year. We have that drive to get back to where we were and to win that last game and go to the World Series. We are full of veterans and a lot of guys have been here for two to three years. We are meshing well and the new guys that are on the team are fitting in here perfectly.”

In preparing for another standout season, Riscica wanted to improve on his defense, so he spent the summer in North Carolina, playing around 50 games at first base for Rowan Patriots out of the All American Collegiate Baseball League.

“Having that summer to hone my skills defensively at first, it was a big improvement,” Riscica said. “I came back and now definitely feel more comfortable. The hard work that I put in really shows. Getting back from injury and working hard on my defense once again is a big part of my improvement.”

So far this season, Riscica has been seeing the ball well. In seven games, six in which he started, Riscica has eight hits and four walks. He also hit three triples and scored five runs.

Riscica came to Keystone College during his sophomore season, after transferring from Marist College.
“There is a lot more woods here and more things outdoors in general,” Riscica said. “It took some time to get used to. The coaching staff for baseball here has been tremendous. They made me feel comfortable and worked with me, both offensively and defensively. They helped me improve my game and understand baseball more.”

During his sophomore season, a hip injury almost forced the Greenwich native to the bench. However, Riscica played through the pain and went to the Hospital for Special Surgery after the season ended. Fully-recovered during last year’s junior campaign, Riscica was the team’s designated hitter.

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