Between Anchorage’s Sagan Osborne at Dickinson State, Juneau’s Lance Ibesate at Jamestown and Anchorage’s Stephen Ferntheil at Mayville State, Alaska is booming with batters.
All three guys lead their team in hitting.
Osborne, of Dimond High fame, is batting .476 in 10 games. He has at least one base hit in every game and is 20-for-42 this fall.
“I try to be aggressive early in the count and not get into too many two-strike counts,” he told me. “Obviously, hitting gets harder when you give the pitcher his choice of pitches.”
Osborne, a junior who moved from third base to shortstop, also leads his team with 7 RBIs.
An all-star in high school and American Legion, Osborne never translated his talent to the college level until he reached Dickinson State in North Dakota.
“It feels great to contribute every day and just know that my team can count on me,” he said. “I think I’ve just finally relaxed into a groove like I used to.”
The success hasn’t gone to his head. In fact, he wants to clear his head each time he steps into the box.
“I think in the last few years I’ve tried to do too much at the plate,” Osborne said. “I tried to be too perfect and tried to force things to happen that I thought I needed to do in that situation.
“This year I’ve just gone back to hitting the ball where it’s pitched and good things have happened.”
Ibesate, of Juneau-Douglas High fame, leads undefeated Jamestown [ND] in hitting with a .423 average in seven games.
The junior second baseman extended his hitting streak to 10 games dating back to last season.
Ibesate has an RBI in the last six straight games this fall.
He’s also scored 11 runs and swiped five bases.
Ibesate hit .368 in 46 games last year for Jamestown.
At Mayville State [ND], Ferntheil is the new kid in town but he’s up to his old tricks.
The junior catcher is ripping the ball for a team-best .556 batting average in eight games.
He is 13-for-23 with a half dozen starts with two hits. He also has six RBIs.
Ferntheil, of Service High fame, hit .329 in 44 games last summer with East Georgia State.
This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.