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Osborn making most of opportunity with Trappers

Bennett Osborn is spending the summer as a member of the Pierre Trappers. The former Redfield standout is one of just a few South Dakota players currently in the Expedition League. Photo courtesy of Michelle Osborn

PIERRE – Baseball has thrown Bennett Osborn a few curveballs recently, but that has not diminished his love for the sport.

The former Redfield standout is playing this summer for the Pierre Trappers. He is one of only a few South Dakota players participating in the Expedition League.

Osborn’s baseball journey since he left Redfield to attend college has been anything but ordinary. However, he is enjoying his time playing with the Trappers and hopes that it will further enhance his game.

“That was the biggest thing that I needed,” Osborn said of his current opportunity. “I’ve been doing skill work forever with no beans pretty much, so I knew that the biggest part for me getting better at this point was being able to see good pitching and also the other parts of playing games against good competition.”

Osborn was an all-state player at Redfield and was named the 2019 Class B State Tournament Player of the Year.

However, by his own admission, Osborn said he waited a bit too long to try and figure out where he wanted to play in college.

“A lot of my stories after high school start with I didn’t really know what was going on,” Osborn said. “I didn’t know how recruiting worked. I didn’t know the time table on any of that.”

He ended up landing at Century College on the St. Paul side of the Twin Cities. However, with several injuries sandwiched around a year of COVID, the experience wasn’t exactly what he had envisioned.

A brief flurry in the region tourney this spring, which included two hits in three pinch-hitting appearances, raised Osborn’s hopes. However, the Expedition League gave him a dose of reality.

“I was like I’m going to come to Pierre and tear it up and go to the school I want to go to after that,” Osborn said, “but sometimes baseball’s a little harder than that.”

Obsorn got mired in a hitting slump, but has not lost confidence. He knows he is not overmatched and believes that the ability that he flashed in high school will soon take hold at the next level.

“I’m just a confident guy. I know how good I am. I know what I’m capable of and I know that baseball is a game of adjustments and that if I just make the right adjustments that I’ll be good,” Osborn said. “If it was an issue of the pitching is just too good for me, I can’t do this, but it’s never been been that.”

He said the biggest adjustment with the Trappers, both at bat and in the field, has been playing with wood bats as opposed to metal ones.

“I hadn’t played with wood bats since the spring season in 2019, my last year of high school baseball. I was practicing a lot in college. I feel like in the outfield I was just getting so fined tuned with all my jumps and everything with how the ball was going to fly off the metal bat,” Osborn said.

Then there’s the matter of hitting.

“There’s a lot more forgiveness to a metal bat when you’re hitting. The biggest thing for me is like I feel like I’ve seen the pitches really well,” Osborn said. “There’s not a fastball that I don’t really pick up on to get to, but there’s a little less barrel, so I’m just getting under it every time, which is an adjustment that I’ve been trying to make. But it’s just been a little more difficult than it probably should be.”

Obsorn, who recently doubled in one game and tripled in another, understands the ups and downs of baseball. He grew up watching his dad, Brent, and uncles play amateur ball, and was destined for the diamond himself.

“It was just a given that I was going to be in baseball since my dad played for Dairy Queen,” he said.

Osborn has seen first hand how important the sport is in Redfield.

“It’s definitely a baseball town. You see a lot of kids that just get hooked on it,” Osborn said. “That’s one that the old people in town give back to and really care about.”

Even at his current young age, Osborn has already played a key role in helping to assure the game will remain strong going forward, having forged a strong connection with the younger kids in town.

“I coached a lot of them in youth in baseball last year. I know a lot of the kids. I was a teachers aid my senior year in high school,” Osborn said. “I know a lot of those kids and I know a lot of them look up to me. A lot of them played baseball last summer and are still out for baseball kind of because of me talking to them about it.”

Osborn’s roots have followed him to Pierre, where sometimes fans yell his hometown instead of his name when comes up to bat.

“I hear ‘Redfield’ a lot when I’m hitting,” he said. “They’ll be yelling, ‘Hey, let’s go Redfield.’ We went to the Senior Center and had lunch with them. There were lots of people that were telling me they lived in Redfield for a while and worked at the SDDC (South Dakota Developmental Center). It’s kind of fun.”

Osborn (who still has four years of college eligibility remaining) isn’t sure what the future holds for him, but knows that baseball will be a part of it.

“The dream has always been to hopefully get drafted or catch on in the minor leagues somewhere,” Osborn said. “I would play in an Independent League. I could see myself going overseas to play. I just want to play for as long as I can.”

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