Center Line High’s Gaffke earns MAC Silver MVP award

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published July 6, 2018

 Center Line High junior pitcher Ryan Gaffke, pictured during a game this past season, has been named MVP of the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

Center Line High junior pitcher Ryan Gaffke, pictured during a game this past season, has been named MVP of the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

Photo provided by Ryan Gaffke

CENTER LINE — Earlier this season, Center Line High baseball coach Rob Conti called Ryan Gaffke the team’s best pitcher and hitter.

The junior proved his coach right.

Gaffke’s standout play, along with being one of the catalysts in the team’s run to a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title, has earned him MAC Silver MVP honors.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to get the award and make as much of an impact as possible,” Gaffke said.

As Center Line’s ace, Gaffke was strong on the mound, compiling a 9-1 record. In 66 innings of work, he had a 0.74 ERA. Overall, he recorded 110 strikeouts to just 29 hits and 18 walks.

At the plate, Gaffke had a team-high .527 batting average. He recorded 49 hits, including 13 doubles, five triples and one home run. In 93 at-bats, Gaffke struck out just 12 times. He also swiped 38 bases.

“Being (MAC Silver MVP) runner-up last year made me work for it, and I made sure I played hard every game,” Gaffke said.

Divisional play wasn’t the only area where the Panthers stood out. Center Line also won a Division 2 district before eventually finishing at 20-10 overall.

The Panthers have won at least 20 games in three of the last four years.

“Coming into the season, I don’t think anybody had us doing what we did, and that’s what made (the season) even more special,” Gaffke said. “I don’t know how long it’s been since Center Line won both a division title and a district title, so it was cool me and the boys could rally around one another and do what we did.”

Heading into his final season with the team, Gaffke wants to continue to improve, with the hope of attracting the attention of collegiate teams.

And naturally, Gaffke wants the Panthers to thrive once again.

“I want the equivalent of this year, if not better,” Gaffke said. “Personally, I just want to try to outwork every other player out there.”