Falkville ace making name for himselfPublished 3:21pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014
If Ryan Bradford had to compare his style to one Major League pitcher, he would say it was Justin Verlander.
“I watch just about every pitcher that I can to learn from them, but I especially pay attention to Justin Verlander,” Bradford said. “My style is close to what his style is.”
Bradford this past season was one of the aces on a Blue Devil squad that made the second round of the playoffs and had one of the more successful baseball seasons in recent memory.
“It was a great season this year,” Bradford said. “We had some big wins. It ended a little short of what we wanted, but it was still a great season for us.”
Bradford’s performance earned him a spot on the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 1A All-State team released earlier this summer.
Although he was listed as a utility player, Bradford had a 10-1 record on the mound with a 2.60 ERA with 77 strikeouts. Four of his wins coming against Athens Bible, Maplesville, Decatur Heritage and Addison, all of which were ranked when they played them.
He also tossed a no-hitter against Addison, which was ranked #2 at the time.
This all came after he went 7-2 as a sophomore at Falkville.
Bradford said he was surprised when he received the honor.
“I had no idea I would get named to the all-state team,” Bradford said. “It was always one of my goals to make all-state.”
One of his reasons for wanting to be an all-state player was to hopefully have his photo placed on the wall inside of Falkville’s gymnasium.
“I wanted to be like them by having my picture on the wall,” Bradford said. “I’m hoping that I will get that chance now that I’ve made all-state.”
This summer, Bradford, who turns 16 later this summer, said he has been staying busy between American Legion baseball, travel baseball and workouts at the school.
“I’ve been doing something just about every day this summer,” Bradford said. “But I enjoy it.”