After year at Kiski School, Ryne Wallace finds college home at Old Dominion

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Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 1:09 PM


Former Kiski Area standout Ryne Wallace always knew he had what it takes to play baseball at the Division I level. He just needed to find the right program.

In March, Wallace found that school in Old Dominion, and the 6-foot-5, 215-pound outfielder committed to continue his baseball career at the Conference USA school in Norfolk, Va.

“When I got there on my visit, they treated me really nice and everything,” Wallace said. “Not that the other coaches weren’t nice or anything, but (ODU) was the best connection I had with any coaches. I knew right away I wanted to play for them.”

Wallace’s path to college had a few more twists and turns than a normal high school athlete. After four years at Kiski Area — where Wallace was a standout on the football and baseball teams — he wasn’t getting as much college attention as he had hoped.

He displayed the proper abilities, throwing for more than 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior and batting for a .431 average with 28 hits and 22 RBIs on the baseball field. But he didn’t play for national teams or attend Perfect Game showcases that help high school players gain exposure.

So, rather than attend a college he wasn’t happy with, Wallace decided to attend Kiski School, an all-boys prep school in Saltsburg that provides high school students a fifth year of schooling to prepare for college.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to study yet, and I didn’t know if I wanted to play football or baseball,” Wallace said. “It didn’t hurt me to take another year, either, because I was young for our grade.”

During his year at Kiski School, which is 10 miles from his house, Wallace did everything he could to prepare for the next level and figured out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

He found his dream school, decided on biochemistry as a major and chose baseball as his future sport. The latter happened without Wallace ever getting the opportunity to display his talents at Kiski School because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Old Dominion still stuck with me through it all,” Wallace said. “I sent them more videos of me hitting off machines and stuff like that.”

When the future Monarch takes the field for Old Dominion, he said he’ll be playing outfield and could play a little bit of first base. Until then, Wallace is attempting to play as much baseball as he can.

He’s hitting into a net in his backyard and has been throwing with his dad to keep his arm in shape. Wallace also has his eyes on playing baseball this summer if the opportunity presents itself.

“I’m hoping to play in the AAABA. We’ll probably find out this week if that’s happening,” Wallace said. “But if not, I’ll probably try and go down to Florida because everything is opened up, and I have family down there. There are a few college leagues starting in July, I think. I’ll find something.”

Since he was young kid, Wallace had dreamed of playing baseball at the Division I level and wanted to do whatever was necessary to accomplish that.

“I always wanted to play Division I, obviously. I mean everyone does, but I always knew I had the ability, too,” Wallace said. “I just had to find the right school. It just took a little longer than some other kids.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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