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Point Park alum Ellis has the NY Mets Class A Sand Gnats in first place

May 23, 2011

RyanEllis
Point Park baseball alum Ryan Ellis ('97-00) is in his first year as manager of the Savannah Sand Snats.
Photo courtesy of Sand Gnats.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Former Point Park baseball player Ryan Ellis is in his first year as manager of the Savannah Sand Gnats, and the Munhall, Pa., native has the Class Low-A affiliate of the New York Mets in first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division as of this week.

Ellis, who was a two-time NAIA Honorable Mention All-American at Point Park from 1997-2000, was named the Sand Gnats manager on Feb. 28, 2011. As of Monday, May 23, the Sand Gnats were tied for first place in the Low-A South Atlantic League Southern Division at 21-22 overall.

Ellis, a 1996 graduate of Steel Valley High School, had been working his way up through the Mets minor league coaching ranks ever since his professional baseball playing career ended in 2004. He had been the Sand Gnats hitting coach in 2009 and 2010 before becoming a manager for the first time this year.

Ellis’ time as a minor league coach in the Mets organization includes being the hitting coach for Kingsport (Rookie) in 2008, the first base coach for Binghamton (AA) in 2007 and serving as an assistant for Norfolk (AAA) in 2006.

Ellis was drafted in the 28th round of the 2000 MLB draft by the Montreal Expos. He played two seasons for Vermont in the New York Penn League before moving to the Washington Wild Things of the Independent League from 2002-04.

He broke into the professional coaching ranks when he served as a Wild Things assistant coach from 2003-05. He was the infield and hitting coach in 2003 and 2004, and he added third-base coach to those responsibilities in 2005.

It makes sense that Ellis proved worthy of a managerial role based primarily on his time as a hitting coach. That’s because Ellis was one of the most prolific hitters in the history of Point Park baseball.

Ellis holds Point Park’s single-season hitting record with his average of .477 in 1999. He hit .405 during his Point Park career, a figure that ranks fifth in school history. In 170 career games, Ellis ranks third in hits (207), third in RBIs (169), second in triples (21) and second in home runs (27).

Ellis helped Point Park make its 10th appearance in the NAIA World Series in 1998. In 52 games that year, Ellis totaled 11 homers, 15 doubles, 14 triples and totaled 57 RBIs. He also scored 74 runs and stole 20 bases that season.

Point Park is a member of the NAIA and the American Mideast Conference. Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park is tied for fifth most all-time with 10 appearances in the NAIA World Series. The Pioneers have a record of 1,105-617-9 in 44 years. Ellis is one of 15 players to be selected in the MLB draft out of Point Park.

Read more about the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class A affiliate of the NY Mets:
www.sandgnats.com