Andrew Bladt’s numbers weren’t empty.
Often times, baseball players will put up spellbinding statistics, but a deeper look reveals that there were a lot of three-run homers when the score was 8-1 or something similar.
On the contrary, the Longmont shortstop had a flair for the dramatic this spring — one in which he was named Times-Call baseball Player of the Year.
“We had six or seven last at-bat wins, and he was always right in the middle of that,” Longmont coach Tom Fobes said.
Bladt set a Longmont record with 35 RBIs, an achievement peppered with four home runs, seven doubles, two triples and a .429 batting average. A grand slam against rival Niwot in a season-saving state tournament game was among his biggest contributions.
Bladt also recorded the walk-off hit in an epic 4-3, extra-inning win against Broomfield in the district final, a victory that punched the Trojans’ ticket to state. When the game was in the balance, Bladt felt like he was in his comfort zone.
“Yeah I did, but I couldn’t tell you why,” Bladt said. “I seemed to get in a zone when I was up in those situations.”
His favorite moment was easy to diagnose.
“Definitely the grand slam against Niwot,” he said. “But that wasn’t all me. My teammates got on to put me in that situation. They kept me up, because I was having a pretty bad hitting game before that.”
Bladt edged Niwot’s Bryan Meek for the honor, although both would have made quality selections. Perhaps it was fitting that the Air Force-bound Meek was bestowed the Northern League Player of the Year and Bladt received this honor.
Each team advanced to the final day of the Class 4A state tournament, with Longmont (17-9) coming a win shy against eventual champion Green Mountain of facing Niwot in the title game.
Bladt also was special with the glove, teaming with co-senior Will Amen for one of the best middle-infield combos in the state.
“AB was the team leader. He kind of assumed that role and took that role on,” Fobes said. “I didn’t have to ask him, he just took it. Sometimes that’s not the easy role to take when you’re trying to get the guys doing things right, but he did that along with the other seniors.”
While many of his Longmont-area baseball brethren are playing for Twins Blue this summer, Bladt is playing for OneFifteen Baseball Club in Loveland. Bladt will play at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia next season, and the Thundering Herd has told him that he isn’t required to play this summer.
Bladt wants to play a partial schedule — a luxury he is afforded with OneFifteen — while also undertaking a rigorous training program in which he bulks up about 15 pounds to 195.
Once he gets there, he’ll have sturdy 6-foot-2, college-ready frame.
“They told me I have a shot to start my freshman year,” Bladt said. “So that’s the goal. As far as down the road, I want to be an impact guy. I want to get right in there and contribute.”
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