05/26/10 — Aycock's Ruffin signs with Brunswick CC

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Aycock's Ruffin signs with Brunswick CC

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 26, 2010 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Tyler Ruffin has lived through his share of adversity.

Two knee surgeries.

A broken hand.

Those experiences have made the Charles B. Aycock senior third baseman a stronger baseball player and person. And they have made him grateful for the opportunity to continue his baseball career at Brunswick Community College.

Ruffin is the sixth player off this year's team to sign a national letter-of-intent to play in college.

"I've had plenty of injuries," said Ruffin. "I've had to keep battling through it and work harder to get to where I am now. I just have to keep working and getting better."

Ruffin also considered Southeastern CC and Methodist University, but ultimately liked the newness of Brunswick's program. The Dolphins finished 33-15 this past season.

"They're new and they've been ranked in the top 10 in the nation," said Ruffin. "They're building a new baseball stadium. It's a good sports place."

Ruffin saw action in all 27 games for the Golden Falcons this past season. Aycock went 22-5, won the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament and advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.

Ruffin batted .413 with 31 hits, 20 RBI, three home runs and 30 runs scored in 75 at-bats.

"Coach (Charles) Davis has taught me a lot," said Ruffin. "Not just about sports, but as a person. My fielding has definitely improved because Mr. Jerry Narron helps out a lot. He and Coach Davis make us better as a team."

Playing in the midst of the high expectations that come with wearing the Aycock uniform, and having experienced numerous high-stakes conference and playoff contests has helped prepare Ruffin for the next level.

"It helps a lot," said Ruffin. "You know what to expect and you know how to work hard. Everybody wants to beat you here. You know how the competition is and you expect everybody's best."

Brunswick head coach Robbie Allen was attracted to the training Ruffin received in the Golden Falcons' program and the reputation associated with Aycock baseball.

"I think bringing someone period from here at Aycock, which we've had before is going to bring knowledge of the game," said Allen. "They're going to be well-versed in what we're they're going to need to do. He's going to have baseball savvy. We're not going to have to go back to square one and start teaching again."

A three-year varsity starter in high school, Ruffin has become a source of reliability for head coach Charles Davis. His consistency at the plate has improved by cutting down on strikeouts and he's seen the fruits of hard work in the offseason.

"It's made it easy for three years in a row that I could write in Tyler Ruffin at third base," said Davis. "He's done a great job for us. I've seen him mature not only as a player and as a person. He's done his work in the offseason to make himself a better player.

"He's made leaps and bounds offensively. This year he cut his strikeouts in half."