The Atlanta Braves named Johnson City High School graduate Ryan Clark the Pitcher of the Year for their Appalachian League affiliate, the Danville Braves.
Clark, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, finished his first season of professional baseball with a 6-1 record and a 3.08 earned-run average in 13 games (seven starts). His six wins led Danville’s pitching staff and were tied for the second-most in the Appalachian League (Rookie Level).
Clark, 21, spent the entire season pitching for the Braves affiliate base in Danville, Va. He struck out 40 batters in 52 2/3 innings and held opposing batters to a .221 batting average against him.
The Braves selected Clark in the fifth round (150th overall) of June’s First-Year Player Draft following his junior season at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
In three seasons at UNC Greensboro, Clark went 15-13 with a 3.62 ERA, the sixth-best career ERA in program history.
Going into his junior season, Clark was named the Southern Conference’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
He went 7-6 with a 4.06 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings in his final collegiate season. His 94 strikeouts was the fifth-highest single-season total in the program’s history.
While playing for Johnson City, Clark was among the team’s offensive leaders as well as the ace of the pitching staff. He set a school record for batting average in a season as a sophomore when he batted .556 for the season.
As a senior, Clark led Johnson City to a 15-6 record (10-2 in Southern Tier Athletic Conference) and an appearance in the Section 4 title game. He threw two no-hitters that season.