For Tylor Arruda there’s only one way to play the sport of baseball.
Play hard or don’t bother to play. And if you have a tough game, keep playing hard. Eventually things will change because ... that’s baseball.
“That’s pretty much it,” said Tylor Arruda, the young diamond stud with the old-time baseball attitude.
The four-year standout at GNB Voc-Tech recently capped his high school baseball career by pitching the Bears to the Div. 2 state high school championship with a complete-game, 6-2, victory over Danvers High School. The win capped Arruda’s season pitching record at a perfect 10-0 and put an exclamation point on a memorable year that was plagued by a question mark during a mid-season team hitting slump.
“For whatever reason, we just couldn’t seem to get a big hit when we needed one and we started to stumble a little,” said Arruda. But while he and his teammates watched the team’s record fall from 8-2 to 11-6 over a span of seven games, they refused to fret. “We were hitting the ball hard, but we we were hitting it right at people, especially in big situations, and we were losing games as a result. But, that’s baseball.
“That’s how it goes sometimes,” he went on. “As long as you stay together and continue to play hard, things will eventually turn around because that’s how it goes in baseball.”
For Arruda and the Bears, the turnaround was dramatic.
Following a tough 1-0 loss to Dighton-Rehoboth that dropped their record to 11-6, the Bears bounced back to crush Wareham, 12-6, and only a 4-2 loss to Shawsheen Valley in the semifinals of the Vocational Tournament blemished a perfect ending to the most memorable baseball season in school history.
Five consecutive wins brought GNB Voc-Tech its first-ever state baseball championship. Three of the five wins were recorded by Arruda and helped the senior earn the title of Standard-Times Player of the Year.
“It’s truly an honor but it took a team effort to win a state championship and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Arruda said. “Most of us have been together for the last four years and this is one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on. We like each other, we played hard every game, trusted in each other and we never got down on ourselves. We’re all going to remember this season for a long time and I’m going to miss playing with these guys.”
But, hopefully, that won’t stop Arruda from creating more memories with future teams.
“I’ve been playing baseball for practically my whole life and, hopefully, I’ll continue to play for as long as as I can,” he said, noting played little league in the South End Youth Athletic Association, PONY league, high school and is currently playing with New Bedford Post 1 of the American Legion. “I can’t remember a summer when I didn’t have a baseball in my hand."
In youth leagues, Arruda was primarily a pitcher. It wasn’t until later in his young baseball career that he became more offensive minded.
“After I was taught certain things about hitting, I really liked swinging the bat and eventually focused on becoming as good a two-way player as I could be," he said.
His final season’s statistics verify he’s become a very good one.
In addition to his 10-0 record as a pitcher, Arruda had 75 strikeouts in a 52 innings and finished the season with a 1.08 ERA. Offensively, he hit .389, had eight doubles, two triples, a home run (grand slam) and drove in 20 runs while hitting out of the third spot in the order.
Arruda will further his education at UMass Boston next year and is looking forward to playing baseball at the next level.
“I’m not sure what their plans are for me are but I’m preparing to be a two-way player,” he said. “If they want me to pitch I’ll do that and if they want me to play a position and hit, I’ll be ready to do that too. Either way, I’ll be playing hard.”
Sure he will. Because, after all, that’s baseball.