Published: Monday, July 23, 2007
A first for this family
Ronnie Bourquin of Canton also was with the Tigers'
Lakeland (Fla.) team.
By JOE SCALZO
NILES Oneonta Tigers third baseman Ronnie Bourquin has played in so many baseball games over the years that he no longer circles certain dates on the calendar.
But his family still does.
Bourquin, a Canton South High graduate, played at Eastwood Field for the first time over the weekend in front of friends and family who made the hour drive from his hometown.
"It's been nice to see them," Bourquin said. "It doesn't matter to me either way if I play in front of [friends and family]. I've played in a lot of games where nobody was there. But I know it was nice for them."
Drafted in 2006
Bourquin, a second round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2006, played for Oneonta last year and started this season playing for Single-A Lakeland (Fla.).
After batting .192 in 26 games for Lakeland, he was sent to extended spring training before heading to Oneonta.
"It was a tough position," Bourquin said. "I only got 25 or 26 games, but I got my feet wet, so I know what it's like up there.
"I felt like I was playing a little better toward the end, but they felt like I needed to work on some things. It's an organizational decision, so I can't say too much."
Still, like everyone else, Bourquin wants to move up. After earning All-Ohio honors in high school, he had a stellar career at Ohio State, winning Big Ten Player of the Year after his junior season, his last with the Buckeyes before being drafted.
He was a midseason All-Star in the New York-Penn League last season, finishing the year with a .266 average and two homers.
Through his first 22 games with Oneonta this season, he's batting .304 and has an on-base-percentage of .454. Sunday, he had two hits in four trips to
Although he hasn't hit a homer, he has power. Bourquin planted two pitches into the right field bullpen during batting practice on Saturday the only player on his team to do so.
"I had a few injuries earlier in the year, so that set me back," said Bourquin, who battled a tweaked hamstring. "I'm feeling pretty good right now.
"I'm just trying to graduate to the next level each year."
As Bourquin has adjusted to pro ball, he's had to adjust to something else: being a Tigers fan. Bourquin grew up following Cleveland sports Browns, Cavs and, of course, the Indians but he's had to switch his allegiance, at least in one sport.
"It was tough," he said. "I cheer for Detroit, but deep down, it's nice to see the Indians do well."