Troup’s Bliss shines in front of scouts

Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Daily News

He’s used to the attention.

Troup High shortstop Ryan Bliss is accustomed to playing in front of professional and college scouts, so he didn’t flinch when he found out who was coming to Wednesday’s game against Harris County.

Among the folks in attendance was Keith Lockhart, the former Atlanta Braves’ standout who is now a scout for the Chicago Cubs.

Bliss put on a show for Lockhart and the other scouts who watched Troup beat Harris County 5-1.

Bliss did it at the plate with a double and a triple, and he also impressed in the field with some phenomenal plays where he showed off his range and arm strength.

For Bliss, the key was just treating it like another game, which he had no trouble doing.

“The scouts are here, and I just go out and play baseball,” Bliss said. “Playing this summer at a high level, there were scouts at every game. That’s part of it. So I’ve learned how to handle that, and play through it, and just play my game. It’s just baseball at the end of the day.”

For Bliss “just baseball” is something to behold.

Bliss has done a remarkable job from the leadoff spot this season, and he was making things happen again on Wednesday.

Bliss made an out on his first at-bat, but he followed that up with a triple in the third inning, and he scored Troup’s first run on a balk.

In his next at-bat in the fifth inning, Bliss banged the ball to the fence and made it to second with a stand-up double.

In the sixth inning, Bliss walked on four pitches, and he scored on Caleb McCurry’s base hit.

“From the leadoff spot, that’s my job,” Bliss said. “I just try to get on base and let my teammates bring me in.”

In the field, Bliss made some sensational plays.

In the fourth inning, Bliss dove to his left to make a play on a ground ball, and he popped up and threw a strike to first.

In the sixth inning, Bliss ranged to his right to field a ball that looked like it was headed to left field for a base hit.

Bliss gloved the ball, and he went airborne and threw a one-bounce throw across his body to first that was nicely fielded by McCurry.

Bliss always enjoys the challenge of making the difficult plays.

“Routine plays, you’re suppose to make them,” Bliss said. “The hard plays, you feel rewarded, because you know the hard work you’ve put in. Making those spectacular plays is always fun.”

Troup head coach Craig Garner has been watching Bliss make plays since he put him into the lineup as a freshman in 2015.

“He made two phenomenal plays in the field, one up the middle over the bag, and another one in the hole where he comes up and gets rid of it, throwing on the run, falling away from the play,” Garner said. “And he has two hits.”

Bliss has already signed with Auburn, but he could have the option of beginning his professional career if he choses that path following the baseball draft in June.

For the moment, Bliss will try to lead Troup to a third straight region championship.

With four region games remaining, Troup is 7-1 and one game behind Cartersville.