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Iowa's best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top middle infielders

Some of the top prep shortstops and second basemen in Iowa
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By Barry Poe 

With the high school baseball season underway, SBLive is looking at the best players in Iowa. 

In our fourth installment, we feature middle infielders from all classifications. 

The state is loaded with talented second basemen and shortstops and many of these excel at other positions as well. 

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of outstanding middle infielders statewide. 

Myles Davis, Marion, SS, Soph.

Although just a sophomore, Davis has already committed to the University of Iowa baseball program. An all-stater as a freshman, Davis batted .496 with 48 RBIs and 51 runs scored for the Class 3A state champions.

Gable Mitchell, Iowa City High, SS, Sr.

Another University of Iowa commit, the grandson of legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable and the son of former Hawkeye player and current City High Coach Brian Mitchell is the third-ranked player in Iowa in the 2022 class according to Perfect Game. The talented shortstop hit .352 last season with a team-high 41 runs, 35 stolen bases and 24 walks and also drove in 30 runs.

Drew Benson, Sioux City West, 2B, Sr.

A first-team Class 4A all-stater by the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association last season, the Wolverine shortstop will continue his baseball career at Morningside University. Benson led his team with a .420 batting average, nine doubles, three triples and 23 RBIs.

Ryan Sanders, North Scott, 2B. Sr.

The Iowa Baseball Coaches Association named Sanders a third team all-stater last season. The Cornell College commit had a .391 batting average and drove in 14 for a a team that reached a substate final.

Blake Timmons, Solon, 2B, Jr.

As a sophomore, the second baseman led his team in batting with a .431 average while driving in 27 and stealing 21 bases. The talented junior and IBCA first team all-stater still has not committed to a collegiate baseball program.

Mike Delzell, Camanche, 2B, Jr.

Delzell was selected as a second team Class 2A all-stater by the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association. The Storm made it all the way to a state tournament semifinal before bowing 12-11 to Centerville. Delzell hit .495 with five homers and 48 RBIs and also notched four pitching wins.

Levi Crawford, Sigourney, 2B, Sr.

The IBCA honored Crawford as a third team Class 1A all-state selection in 2021. The hard-hitting second sacker had a .346 batting average for the Savages as a junior and has helped his team win its first 10 games this season with a .469 average.

Jaixen Frost, Mount Ayr, SS, Jr.

Frost earned all-state accolades as a sophomore, pounding the ball to the tune of a .634 average, eight home runs and 47 RBIs. The talented shortstop is at it again this season, hitting .615 with four homers and 13 RBIs in nine games.

Jackson Howe, Kingsley-Pierson, SS, Sr.

A multi-sport standout, Howe led the Panthers to a Class 1A substate final last season, where they fell to Remsen St. Mary’s. Howe had a .450 average, 40 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a couple of pitching wins for that 28-4 squad. He has hit two home runs and driven in 12 in 13 games this season.

Kellen Strohmeyer, Dubuque Hempstead, SS, Sr.

A University of Iowa commit, Strohmeyer earned first team accolades from the Iowa Print Sportswriters Association and second team from the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association after setting a school record for hits in a season. He batted .427 with 15 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 32 RBIs and went 22-for-22 in stolen base attempts.

Caleb Wulf, West Liberty, SS,. Sr.

Wulf is already committed to Southeastern CC, by the end of his junior season he had already established himself as one of the best pitchers in Class 2A. He also hit an even .520. leading the River Valley Conference South Division in doubles (13) and triples (5) to go along with 33 RBIs.

Carter Gallagher, Waterloo Columbus, SS, Sr.

The versatile senior has decided to continue his baseball career at Iowa Western Community College. Last season Gallagher was named a first-team all-stater by the IBCA as a utility pick after hitting .429 with 49 RBIs and a .865 slugging percentage while posting a 1-1 pitching mark.

Kooper Schulte, New London, SS, Sr.

Another player who can man multiple positions, Schulte will also continue his career at junior college powerhouse Iowa Western in Council Bluffs. New London was a Class 1A state tournament qualifier behind Schulte, who hit .360 with three homers and 27 RBIs while stealing 17 bases in 18 attempts.

Lane Spieker, CAM, SS, Sr.

Yet another Iowa Western commit, Spieker had a remarkable 2021 campaign with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs along with a 2.84 ERA. He also scored 61 runs, walked 32 times and stole 21 bases.

Carter Schorg, Remsen St. Mary’s, SS, Sr.

Although pitching is his forte, the Briar Cliff University commit is also an outstanding shortstop for the top-ranked (Class 1A) Hawks. A season ago, Schorg had a .415 batting average and 21 RBIs along with a 5-1 pitching record. He’s now the ace of the staff with a 6-0 record and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 32.2 innings while batting .393 with a homer and 13 RBIs for the 18-0 Hawks.

Brayden Sawyer, Grundy Center, SS, Sr.

Along with posting an 8-2 pitching record for a Class 1A state tournament qualifier, Sawyer had a team-leading .405 batting average with 23 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. The Central College commit is 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 17 innings pitched this season while batting .269.

Tyler Oberfoell, Osage, SS, Sr.

He was named an all-state utility pick by the Iowa Prep Sports Writers, Oberfoell had an even .500 batting average and three pitching wins last season. A multi-sport standout at Osage High, he excels in basketball and cross country as well.

Kayden Anderson, Glenwood, SS, Soph.

Anderson was one of the top freshman performers in the state last season, batting a team-high .505 with 24 RBI while notching three pitching wins. An all-state selection by the press writers as a utility performer, Anderson has a .515 average through 11 games this season with four doubles, two triples and three home runs and has a 2-0 pitching record.

Brett White, Solon, SS, Soph.

Another outstanding young performer, White was an all-state utility pick by the Iowa Prep Sportswriters as a freshman. White knocked in 56 runs and hit .365 last season while swiping nine bases in as many attempts. White has a .411 averge with two homers and 18 RBIs in 20 games this season.

Sam Skarich, North Scott, SS, Sr.

Skarich will play baseball at Southeastern CC and recently won a state high jump title in track and field. Last season, he had a .396 batting average, 14 doubles, three triples, four homers and 39 RBIs and a 6-1 pitching mark for a team that reached a substate final.

Jack Emanuel, Johnston, 2B, Sr.

As the second baseman for the state’s top-ranked Class 4A squad, Emanuel sports a .400 average with nine RBIs and 16 runs scored. He will play at Iowa Central Community College this fall.

Carson Cummer, Dubuque Wahlert, SS, Sr.

The senior shortstop has been a steady performer for Iowa’s top-ranked Class 3A team. Through 13 games, Cummer has a .441 batting average and an .886 fielding percentage.

Colin Gibson, Grinnell, SS, Sr.

The Tigers have an 18-1 record and are ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association. Gibson, their senior shortstop, has hit two home runs and driven in 10 while going 10-for-10 in stolen bases.

Cole Baumgart, Clarinda, SS, Soph.

The Cardinals made a surprise run to the Class 2A state tournament last season and Baumgart hit .324 with 15 RBIs and had two pitching wins for that squad. This season, Clarinda is 9-3 and ranked No. 3 in 2A as Baumgart leads the team with a .421 batting average and a 2-0 pitching record.

Mason Bechen, North Linn, SS,. Fr.

The Lynx have won 16 of their first seven games and are ranked No. 3 in Class 1A. Bechen has already made a name for himself, hitting .360 with 34 RBIs as an eighth grader last season. This year, he has a .500 batting average, 18 RBIs and 27 steals in as many attempts, along with a 3-0 pitching record.