Tyler Rippel (#32) in the middle of the third row of this Mount Mercy team photo.

After taking a red shirt season last year as a freshman at Mount Mercy, Vinton-Shellsburg alum Tyler Rippel earned his first collegiate win for the Mustangs this week.

Rippel came into the game in the third inning, and struck out six batters while walking none over the next four innings, in the Mustangs’ 17-4 win over Cornell on Sunday March 4. Rippel gave up four hits and one earned run against the Rams.

The son of Jeff and Hayley Rippel, Tyler says, “Getting my first win feels great! The experience of being out there just excites me and it just feels great.”

In addition to facing bigger, stronger batters at college, there’s been another adjustment for the pitcher who helped carry the Vinton-Shellsurg to the 2015 State Tournament: The turf.

Mercy recently completed its brand-new, field turf baseball field. Unlike the high school field turfs on which he played at Independence and other places, this field has turf on the pitcher’s mound. That means wearing a different kind of shoe, as well as getting used to pitching on the a surface that is not dirt.

“It took some getting used to,” says Tyler, who explains the difference in the high school and college games.

“College ball is a lot different,” he says. “You have to have a lot better stuff and a lot better focus. It’s a lot more time-consuming, too.”

With the warmer weather, Mount Mercy will have the opportunity to play more home games on its new turf, something Tyler says he is very much looking forward to enjoying.

See Tyler’s Mount Mercy roster page HERE.

At Mount Mercy, Rippel is also teammates with freshman Tanner Davis, who was signed last year as a future Mustang infielder.