Anchorage’s Sagan Osborne smoked the ball twice to the outfield wall in his first two plate appearances, but the Dickinson State baseball player had no hits to show for it.
But he didn’t hang his head.
Instead, he waited for the pitcher to hang a pitch.
That’s exactly what happened when Osborne went yard in his next at-bat for his career-high fifth home run of the season for the NAIA Blue Hawks of Dickinson, North Dakota.
“My home run was a bit of a relief in that game,” he told me. “I was 0-2 and felt like I had been chasing pitches I shouldn’t, but my coach told me to go in aggressive and look for something up. The pitcher hung a curveball and I got ahold of it.”
Osborne, a 2-year player with the Alaska Baseball Academy and of Dimond Post 21 fame, is enjoying another big year at the plate this year on the heels of a strong junior season.
The third baseman has posted career highs in home runs, batting average [.411], on-base percentage [.463], slugging percentage [.726] and stolen bases  in 19 games.
With just two walks in 75 plate appearances, he goes to the plate to hit.
“Early in the year I feel like I don’t walk much because not much scouting happens and I get a lot of first-pitch fastballs,” he said. “Most of the time I’m going to put that ball in play. Once conference season comes around and pitchers are more familiar with me it’ll lead to longer at bats and more walks.”
Osborne has been incredibly effective, driving in 21 runs on 30 hits and scoring 24 runs in 19 games. The decline in his game is doubles total, dropping from 21 to four, in part because he’s hitting more balls out of the park.
“I’d like to get at least 10 [home runs] on the year and feel like I am capable of doing that,” he said. “I worked a lot on my power this summer and it is showing. I think that has contributed to my lower doubles number because those balls are leaving the yard this year. Also pretty much everyone we play plays me extra deep so balls hit in the gap haven’t been able to fall as often this year.”
Credit: Van Williams