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Duluth Huskies announce the signing of Marshall’s own Ben Pedersen

 

The Missouri freshman is expected to play a big role on the 2020 team

Jordan Anderson jaa5623@gmail.com

Duluth, Minn. – If there is one thing the Duluth Huskies care to be known for, it is their deep-rooted connection to the Twin Ports area. From owner and life long Duluthian Michael Rosenzweig, to the many fans who pour through the turnstiles, to the players who make up our team every summer, the Huskies are proud and excited to announce the signing of Duluth native, and former Marshall High School superstar, Ben Pedersen.

The ace of the 2019 Minnesota state champion Marshall baseball team is back in the town where his ascent to greatness began. As a senior, he posted an 11-0 record en route to Duluth’s first state championship in baseball since 1950. This perfect record came with an ERA of 1.34 while striking out 100 hitters in 62.2 innings, and for those of you doing the math at home, that is a K/9 of 14.4. The accolades kept rolling in with the announcement that he had been named the Class AA Player of the Year and a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Baseball.

That all came a year after his junior season when he put together a streak of 46 consecutive scoreless innings and finished the season with a sterling 0.45 ERA. The only two-time winner of the Duluth News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year award finished his illustrious high school career with an overall record of 29-1, a 1.07 ERA, and 280 strikeouts in 202 innings, or a 12.5 K/9.

Hilltopper head coach, Joe Wicklund, did nothing but sing praises for the righthander. “Ben was the hardest worker and the best player. When those things align, it’s special. He was fantastic”. Coach Wicklund was bullish when talking about what the future holds for Ben Pedersen. “I think his future has been forecasted by the University of Missouri (Mizzou) and the Baltimore Orioles. He projects to be a top-notch college player in the Southeastern Conference, and eventually a high level professional”.

Pedersen has long been sought after by college and professional clubs alike. “Hundreds is probably the easy answer”, Wicklund couldn’t help but chuckle when talking about how many scouts and coaches he’d interacted with regarding Pedersen.  “I like to joke and say that I talked to all of them. But it was easily a few hundred over the last three-plus years”. The coach also went on to laud his work ethic and his propensity for being a model teammate.

Pedersen was drafted in the 38th round of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. The Baltimore club attempted to convince Ben to break his commitment to the University of Missouri by offering a signing bonus over the slot value for his draft position, but he turned them down and honored said commitment. “Securing him was a very high priority for us. When we brought Ben down here and got to know him and his family, we knew we had to have him on campus”, said Mizzou’s Director of Baseball Operations, Jae Fadde. “I know it’s cliché, but we always want to go out and find the OKG’s, the ‘Our Kinda Guys’, and he fit that mold”.

It was no real surprise that Fadde concurred with Coach Wicklund’s evaluation of Ben’s impeccable work ethic. “He values perfection, asks questions about the little stuff, and is always fine-tuning his craft”.  As to his role as a freshman, Missouri’s head baseball coach, Steve Bieser, likes what he’s seen so far, “He has come in and worked extremely hard this fall to earn meaningful innings in the spring”.

Aside from a prolific high school resume, Pedersen brings a 6’ 5”, 235-pound frame. The 18-year-old is armed with a fastball that already sits in the low-90’s and has topped out at 95. The big righthander deploys a hard slider and a changeup to keep hitters off his fastball. “I’ve been coaching here in Duluth for two summers now and I heard about this kid through word of mouth, and it got to the point where we couldn’t ignore the rumblings” notes Huskies Field Manager, Marcus Pointer, who was well aware of the talented righty. “We tried to bring him in last summer straight out of high school, but it just didn’t work out at that time. We’re very happy that we were more successful the second time around”.

The ever-ready Coach Pointer already has a plan in place for Pedersen.  “Obviously, we’ll work with the Mizzou coaches to develop him in accordance with their wishes. We just know we want to get him out there and get him as many innings as he feels comfortable with, regardless if that’s as a starter or a closer. We want to showcase this kid”.

No stranger to the Wade, Ben Pedersen will look to bring back some of that home cooking to the Huskies crowd this coming summer. Don’t forget, season tickets for the 2020 season are on sale now! Be sure to put $50 down now to secure your early bird pricing. Also, stay connected with the Huskies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with duluthhuskies.com for any official news for the 2020 season.

 

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The Duluth Huskies are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.duluthhuskies.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Huskies as your favorite team.