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Iowa's best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top third basemen

Some of the top third basemen in Iowa prep baseball
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By Barry Poe 

With the high school baseball season getting underway, SBLive is looking at the best players in Iowa. In our fifth installment, we feature third basemen from all classifications. The state is loaded with talented third basemen and many of these excel at other positions as well. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are dozens of outstanding third basemen statewide. 

Colin Gibson, Grinnell, Sr.

Although named to the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association first-team Class 3A squad as a third baseman, Gibson can also play other spots as well, including catcher. The Western Illinois commit is tied for the team lead with a .327 average for the No. 1-ranked 3A team in the state. Gibson has three home runs and 14 RBIs after a strong junior season in which he hit .387 with three homers and 28 RBIs.

Brett White, Solon, Soph.

White made the IHSBCA second team as a freshman after batting .356 with 48 hits, 18 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 56 RBIs and 45 runs scored. This year, he’s at .462 with three homers and 26 RBIs.

Jack Walsh, Dubuque Wahlert, Jr.

Walsh is also an outstanding pitcher who was named to all-state squads as a sophomore. The Golden Eagles lost to Marion in last season’s 3A state title game and are currently ranked No. 4.

Sam Wilt, Anamosa, Sr.

The all-around standout who can play almost any position on the diamond chose Kirkwood Community College after the University of Iowa showed serious interest. As a junior, Wilt launched 11 home runs and knocked in 52 while batting .495 with a .982 slugging percentage. This year, he’s at .426 with five home runs.

Jared Hoodjer, Janesville, Sr.

A second team all-state pick by the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association last season, the Upper Iowa University commit batted a healthy .508 with 10 doubles and three home runs. Through 13 games this season, Hoodjer leads the Wildcats with a .575 average, three home runs and 22 RBIs. He’s also 2-0 on the mound and has stolen 17 bases in 19 attempts.

Ben Orr, Durant, Sr.

A third-team all-state selection in Class 2A last season, Orr has 138 career hits at Durant and 91 RBIs. The Loras University commit has hit below .400 just once, as an eighth grader (.293 over 82 at-bats). Orr is hitting an even .500 this season with three homers and 15 RBIs to go along with a 2-0 pitching record.

Jack VanFossan, Underwood, Soph.

The son of Underwood head coach Andy VanFossan earned a spot on the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association all-state second team as a freshman. This season, he sports a .471 batting average with 10 stolen bases and is 5-0 on the mound with a 0.54 ERA.

Luke Sheridan, W.D.M. Dowling, Jr.

This versatile junior plays a number of different positions for the third-ranked (Class 4A) Maroons. Sheridan checks in with a solid .350 batting average and has a 3-1 pitching record, mainly in relief.

Jaden Kramer, Cedar Falls, Sr.

A Central College recruit, Kramer leads the Tigers – ranked No. 4 in 4A by the IBCA – with 30 RBIs. He has nine extra base hits among his 21 total, has stolen seven bases and scored 19 runs.

Chance Dreyer, Assumption, Sr.

The multi-talented Dreyer has also cast his lot with Central College for the fall of 2022. As well as leading the Class 3A second-ranked Knights with 40 RBIs, Dreyer has a .407 batting average with seven doubles, three homers and a triple. He’s also 3-0 on the mound with 32 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched.

Reese Moore, Van Meter, Sr.

A future University of Iowa Hawkeye, Moore has excelled for the three-time defending Class 2A state champions after transferring from Forest City for his senior season. The Bulldogs are 23-0 and Moore is leading the state with 41 RBI and ranks second with nine home runs. He has a team-high .491 average.

Payton Hodges, Marion, Soph.

Although the defending Class 3A state champions have a modest 12-6 record, Hodges is one of the top young players in the state. He has a .346 average with 14 RBIs and a 2-2 pitching mark with a 1.59 ERA for the ninth-ranked Wolves.

Lukas Meyer, West Delaware, Sr.

Meyer leads the Hawks with a .371 average while hitting three home runs and knocking in 21. He has also legged out five doubles and chalked up a couple of pitching wins.

Ben Swails, Clear Creek-Amana, Sr.

The Iowa Western Community College commit missed almost his entire junior season because of a freak injury, slicing his hand with a knife as he cut batting tape off the handle. Swails has bounced back and is hitting a hefty .517 with five homers and 34 RBIs to go along with 10 steals in as many attempts. The Clippers are ranked No. 7 in Class 3A by the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association.

Doug Taylor, Mason City Newman, Jr.

A University of Iowa recruit, Taylor is second statewide with 37 RBIs for the second-ranked (Class 1A) Knights. Taylor has a .389 average with five homers, seven doubles and two triples. He’s also one of the state’s top pitchers, sporting a 3-1 mark with 53 strikeouts in 26 innings after earning all-state honors as a sophomore.

Blake Evans, Estherville-Lincoln Central, Jr.

The second-ranked (Class 2A) Midgets are one of the hottest teams in the state with 10 straight victories. Evans has played a key role, hitting .446 with 25 hits in 56 at-bats. He plays all around the diamond but gets most of his starts at third base.

Austin Oolman, MOC-Floyd Valley, Jr.

Not only is Oolman the ace of the pitching staff for the Dutch, who are unbeaten in the Siouxland Conference, but he has also driven in 15 runs. Oolman has a 5-0 mound mark and 1.70 ERA for the Dutch, who have won nine straight.

Britton Bond, Lewis Central, Sr.

The Titans have risen to No. 6 in the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A ratings. Bond, who will play at Northwest Missouri State University, is batting a solid .380 with 22 RBIs and has a 3-0 pitching record for a team that has won 13 in a row.

Andrew Robinson, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Sr.

Another versatile performer, both on the mound and in the field, Robinson is hitting .371 with five doubles and 17 RBIs, while posting a 4-0 pitching record and sterling 0.78 ERA. The Hawks are ranked ninth in Class 5A by the IHSBCA.

Colin Meester, Dike-New Hartford, Fr.

Although he’s just a freshman, Meester has made a huge impact for the unbeaten and sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Wolverines. Along with a .357 batting average, he has stolen 11 bases in 13 attempts. Dike-New Hartford has a 16-0 overall record.

Cade Streigle, Sigourney, Sr.

The Iowa coaches had the Savages ranked ninth in Class 1A in their last set of ratings. Streigle, with his .442 average, is one of six Sigourney starters batting .350 or better. He’s also scored 20 runs, driven in 19 and stolen 10 bases.

Landon Frost, Don Bosco, Soph.

The 10th grader has been a sparkplug for the Dons, ranked seventh in Class 1A. Frost has a .442 average with a team-high 31 runs scored, five triples, four doubles and 12 stolen bases.

Kyler Owen, Fremont-Mills, Jr.

Not many people have been able to get Owen out this season. He is leading the state of Iowa with an impressive .773 average, collecting 22 hits in 30 at-bats. Owen is 14-for-14 in stolen bases and has picked up a pair of pitching wins.