PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Brown Baseball standout Ryan Zrenda '11 has signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Zrenda, an All-Ivy Honorable Mention selection this past season, was a stalwart at third base for the Bears for four years. He is the second player from the class of 2011 to sign a contract with a Major League franchise, joining Matt Colantonio, who signed with the San Diego Padres.
"Signing with the Orioles is a dream come true," said Zrenda, who was sitting on the plane, waiting to take off this morning. "I was completely ecstatic when it finally happened. I just want to thank everyone for all of their support."
Zrenda will immediately join the Orioles Single-A affiliate, finishing up the last three weeks with Class-A Aberdeen. He leaves this morning to meet his new team in Auburn, N.Y., the Class-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, who the Orioles will be playing.
"This is a great feeling, especially after a long summer. I didn't get drafted but signing as a free agent is just as good," stated Zrenda.
Zrenda, who had been one of Brown's most consistent players entering this season, battled his way through injury this year and finished 10th in program history with 584 at-bats. In just 15 Ivy League games this year, the senior tallied six runs, 13 hits, two doubles, a home run and nine RBI.
"Both myself and Matt (Colantonio) have each signed with major league ball clubs and hopefully it inspires the younger guys on the team to guys to work hard and give it their all," said Zrenda. "Anyone can reach this level if you strive to put in hard work everyday."
In 2010 Zrenda had a breakout offensive season for Brown, setting career highs in batting average (.357), runs scored (35), doubles (13), home runs (11), RBI (30), and on-base percentage (.406). In Ivy League play (20 games), he hit .423 and finished first in home runs (seven) and first in total bases (63). The third baseman also finished second in conference play with an .808 slugging percentage and finished third in the league with 33 hits. His 63 total bases in 2010 ranks 3rd best all-time in Ivy baseball history.