Ryan Reynolds embraces team captain role amid Texas’ struggle

Daniela Perez

When you think Texas Baseball, you think of players like Ryan Reynolds.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound third baseman has been a rock in the infield for three seasons. He follows a legacy of Longhorns, including a sister who graduated in 2017 and a father who played baseball at Texas in 1989.

Reynolds’ athletic accolades include starting 57 of 60 games his freshman year, hitting four homers and 37 RBIs during his sophomore campaign and now tying for the second-most hits on the team his junior year. His success on the field may be the reason why his fellow teammates chose him to be one of three captains in the 2019 season.

Like any captain, he must now take responsibility for the Longhorns’ losing series against Kansas State.

“We designated three captains when we were out of town a couple of weeks ago, and those guys need to take this responsibility because those three guys were voted by their team, and that’s Michael McCann, Bryce Elder and Ryan Reynolds,” Texas head coach David Pierce said on Sunday.

After the 2-0 loss, Reynolds stood among the media and spoke for his team. Reynolds said he wouldn’t point fingers, but he knows they need to improve. He recognizes a disconnect on the field that needs mending.

“I don’t think we’ve been playing to our ability, Reynolds said. “I feel like we’ve been playing down to these teams and everything just needs to click. Offense needs to get going, defense has been good and then last game, pitching was really good. It just all needs to connect and happen more consistently so we can get back on track.”

Reynolds is familiar with the Longhorns’ strengths and weaknesses just like he is familiar with the highs and lows of baseball. His father played professional baseball for 13 years and Reynolds followed in his footsteps by attending the same high school in Louisiana and playing for the same college team as him. Now, he feels confident that he knows where the team must improve in order to succeed moving forward.

“Today, (Kansas State pitcher Jordan Wicks) just pitched a great game,” Reynolds said on Sunday. “He made us earn everything, and we really didn’t earn it and that’s why we didn’t score today. We don’t really have a power team. We’re more doubles — we’re a speedy team — so we just need to get on base and just create chaos. I feel like if we start doing that, we’ll be in good shape.”

For now, Reynolds will continue to lead his team. In front of reporters after the series loss, Reynolds was stoic and reserved but very aware his role is instrumental to Texas turning around its midseason woes.

“(I) lead by example,” Reynolds said. “I guess I’m not a real big talker, so (I try to) lead right. If I see someone who may not being doing it right, just go over there and pat them on the butt and just try to talk to them, just kind of relate, and get them back on track.