Baseball: 'Cerebral' Tommy Bloebaum leading way for Bexley Lions

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Tommy Bloebaum, a senior shortstop, third baseman and pitcher, has been leading the Bexley baseball team spring. “Tommy doesn’t say a lot, but when he does say something, (the players) pay attention to him,” coach Joe Krabill said.

Whether it’s baseball, football or the classroom, Tommy Bloebaum tries to analyze the situation in front of him.

The senior has started since his freshman season with the Bexley baseball team, and he started at either quarterback or wide receiver since his sophomore year in football. Bloebaum, however, will be leaving the competitive field of play for another competitive area when he begins studying environmental science this fall at the University of Virginia.

In addition to his success on the football field and the baseball diamond, he sports a 4.5 GPA.

“Climate change is something I’m pretty passionate about, and I want to make a difference in that field,” Bloebaum said. “(High school) has definitely flown by. It seems like yesterday I was a freshman. It’s been a great experience to be a part of (the baseball) program. It’s definitely been a little surreal that this is really going to be it.”

Coach Joe Krabill said Bloebaum’s experience is invaluable to a young team that saw its season canceled last year because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Tommy doesn’t say a lot, but when he does say something, (the players) pay attention to him,” said Krabill, whose team was 6-3 overall and 4-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Worthington Christian on April 14. “He’s played since he was a freshman and not a lot of guys have been around that much. Also, as a coach, he’s a great go-between as a captain to converse with the players. When you have a kid who is that smart and that mature, it makes things easier as a coach.

“He’s very cerebral. He takes coaching well and thinks about it. He asks good questions like, ‘Why are we doing things this way?’ ‘Where’s it taking me as a player?’ He really processes the conversations. He’s like, ‘I’m a student and I’m learning this.’ ”

Bloebaum, who plays shortstop and third base and pitches, was batting .370 with seven RBI, 12 runs and seven stolen bases through nine games. 

“Tommy’s a gap-to-gap hitter and puts the ball in play,” Krabill said. “He doesn’t get overpowered, and he’s working on driving the ball. Coach (Dean) Washington has made some swing changes and gave him some different ideas that he’s buying into right now.

“He’s the perfect No. 3 hitter for us. Most No. 3 hitters are a power guy, but he’s just a good hitter in the three-hole that runs the bases well.”

On the mound, Bloebaum was 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA and 10 strikeouts. 

“Tommy’s just a fighter on the mound with a good high school fastball and he’s developing his cutter and his splitter,” Krabill said. “He continues to throw it in the zone and doesn’t walk guys. If he gets hit, he gets hit. He doesn’t sulk about it. He just throws strikes.”

Last fall as a wide receiver, Bloebaum was honorable mention all-league with four catches for 81 yards and one touchdown. He said he doesn’t have a preference between football and baseball, but likes how they complement one another.

“They’re both team sports,” he said. “You need 11 guys to win in football, and you play with nine guys in baseball. Also there are good individual matchups in both sports like the pitcher and the batter in baseball and the wide receiver and the defensive back in football. They both are different and helped me grow as a person.”

Bloebaum said the uncertainty in every aspect of baseball is a great lesson for life. It helps him to overcome any obstacle.

“Baseball is difficult because it’s easy to be streaky,” he said. “Sometimes it can be hard to break out if you have a bad mentality.

“I think something that baseball has taught me is whenever you make a bad play or have a bad at-bat, you have to move on. Whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter any more. You have to hit the next pitch or field the next groundball.”

Now, Bloebaum’s focus is helping the Lions win this spring. 

“We have a good group of guys,” he said. “A lot of teams are young this year, and we are, too. But we have a good crew of guys that have played varsity baseball before and it’s going well. I love the guys and we have a solid team.”

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen