• 45°

#039;Grande#039; day for Green pitcher Bloomfield

FRANKLIN FURNACE - Ryan Bloomfield is the subject of great expectations.

No, he's not the main character in a Charles Dickens' classic but rather the newest recruit of the University of Rio Grande Redmen baseball program.

This past season with the Green Bobcats, Bloomfield posted a 9-0 record with a dazzling 1.79 earned run average. In 57 innings he allowed just 49 hits.

Bloomfield also played shortstop and centerfield and posted impressive numbers at the plate: .330 batting average, two home runs and 18 runs batted in. He was also team captain and named the Southern Ohio Conference Division I Player of the Year.

"We know he's going to be there at the University of Rio Grande and it's going to be a situation in which he can thrive," Green head coach Dave Shoupe said. "They have high expectations for him."

Bloomfield is the second all-district player to sign this season with the Redmen. Besides his first team status in the SOC this season and as a junior, he was second team as a freshman and sophomore. Academically, Bloomfield was vice-president of the National Honor Society.

"I'm really excited to go play," Bloomfield said. "I think it will be a great thing for the school here because not many people have signed to play sports, especially baseball. It's just really cool, I think."

Although Bloomfield had the ability to play at Rio Grande, the choice was still his. He said it wasn't a hard decision.

"I just really liked the atmosphere and I know they have a strong baseball team and it's something I knew I wanted to be a part of," Bloomfield said.

Shoupe had mixed emotions about Bloomfield's departure.

"We're obviously extremely proud of Ryan. He's been a great asset to this community, this school and definitely our program," Shoupe said.

"But he's going to be extremely and deeply missed. He displays great leadership and a great example that keeps everybody upbeat. That's his great attribute."

Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont said Bloomfield will be a great addition to the program.

"Our goal is to get the best kids out of southeast Ohio and we've got two district players of the year and that's important to us," Warnimont said. "In Ryan, we feel he is a dual-role guy. He had a great year on the mound and he put up some outstanding numbers.

"Offensively, he's a guy who played some centerfield as well as shortstop, so he has some versatility."

Warnimont said that Bloomfield will have to make some adjustments to the college level, but he should make great strides once he gets settled into the Redmen program.

"His best years are going to be ahead of him," Warnimont said. "He has great leadership skills on the mound and we're going to try to get him stronger in the weight room. The velocity is going to come along with maybe a little more power with the bat."

Ryan is the son of Kevin Bloomfield and Lee Ann Packard. He plans to major in Social Science.