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Northwestern vs. Nebraska

Nebraska outfielder Ryan Boldt runs to third base against Northwestern on Friday, April 8, 2016, at Haymarket Park. 

Ryan Boldt, Nebraska's center fielder for the past three years, signed a $1 million dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday afternoon.

Boldt, one of NU's top hitters the past three seasons, said he was with his parents when he signed with the Rays in Tampa, Florida. He will report to the Hudson Valley Renegades in the New York-Penn League and probably will be on the field by Sunday. That league just started play Friday.

Earlier this week, Husker pitcher and Arden Hills, Minnesota, native Max Knutson, a 12th-round pick, signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Details of his contract have not been disclosed.

Ben Miller, who was picked in the 32nd round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, indicated that he was returning to Nebraska for his senior year.

"This is a new path and everybody has been so helpful and I am so excited," said Boldt, a native of Red Wing, Minnesota. "I talked with Coach (Darin) Erstad and he was very supportive and told me I could ask him anything I needed to know.

"I will always treasure my days as a Husker and now it's time for the next step."

Boldt, an Academic All-American and All-Big Ten honoree, and a two-time All-Big Ten outfielder, said he will earn his degree in nutrition science when the time allows.

"Right now, I'm looking forward to a season of 75 games in 80 days and learning as much as I can about pro baseball," he said.

A 22nd-round pick of the Boston Red Sox out of high school, Boldt was a second-round pick of the Rays during the MLB Draft last week.

"I'll try to put the signing bonus in a safe place and see how it is to live off the $1,100 a month salary for this Class A ball," he said.

Boldt turned down more than $1 million offer from the Red Sox in 2013 and chose to play for Nebraska.

Other signings: Cole Stobbe of Millard West signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for $1.1 million. He was the first pick of the third round of the draft. … Waverly native Sam Tewes, an eighth-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, will bypass his senior year at Wichita State for a $100,000 signing bonus. … Tanner Kirk, who played at Lincoln Southwest and Wichita State, was picked in the 35th round as a second baseman by the Baltimore Orioles, and has not signed.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7313 or khambleton@journalstar.com. On Twitter @PanchoHam

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Ken grew up in Chicago and is a Doane College grad. His Mr. Sportsknowitall column appears Sundays, and he covers a variety of beats.

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