Area Male Athlete: Aitkin's Ferdelman firing no hitters
Evan Ferdelman believes the odds are in his favor.
For the most part this season, he’s been right.
The Aitkin Gobblers’ senior is making a habit of getting people out.
During the Gobblers’ 3-0 victory over Hinckley-Finlayson May 6, Ferdelman struck out 18 and no-hit the Jaguars for his second no-hitter this season.
“I knew they would be a tough team,” said Ferdelman. “I got to close against them two weeks before and I got three outs in a row. I was throwing my curve and fastball and just hitting my spots really well. They couldn’t get their timing on me because I was able to get them off balance.
“After the fifth inning I was feeling pretty confident. I had faced the top of the order and struck them out. The bottom of the order was coming up and that’s when I realized I had a no-hitter going.”
Ferdelman’s first no-hitterthis season came in a 19-0 blowout of East Central April 13.
“It was my first game on the mound this season so I was nervous,” said Ferdelman. “I pitched my game and struck out 12 of the 15 guys I faced.”
In 24.2 innings of work, Ferdelman has 45 strikeouts. He’s allowed 11 hits, 10 walks and five earned runs for a 1.82 ERA. He is 4-0 with a save for the 14-2 Gobblers.
“He worked ahead in the counts and got a lot of first-pitch strikes,” Aitkin coach Jeremy Janzen said of Ferdelman’s second no-hitter. “He was working the batters versus them working him. He used all of his pitches and used them all well. He threw 112 pitches in seven innings. That’s the limit. He was coming out even with a no-hitter if he threw any more. When you’re a strikeout pitcher you tend to throw more pitches.
“He worked ahead and his off-speed was so good. He was able to mix things up.”
Offensively, Ferdelman’s hitting .282 with six singles and a double. He has four RBIs and six runs scored with a .470 on-base percentage.
When’s he’s not pitching Ferdelman plays third base. But pitching has always been his passion.
Ferdelman has a well-stocked arsenal of pitches to fool batters. He throws a four-seam fastball, two different curveballs, a slider and changeup. He said he also likes to throw a two-seam fastball in on left-handed batters.
“I looked up all those pitches on line and taught myself how to throw them,” said Ferdelman. “I wanted to pitch in Little League and I started in sixth grade. I always had a good arm and I just love pitching. I’m going to pitch next year at St. Cloud Technical.”
He said his goals were to lead the team in all pitching categories and help the Gobblers advance deep into the Section 7-2A playoffs where Aitkin is currently ranked third in the Subsection 1 standings behind Cloquet and Mora.
“He’s a senior so he is very poised when he’s on the mound,” said Janzen. “He thinks he’s going to get guys out. He’s found out that you need to have confidence on the mound. He stands in there thinking he’s going to get everyone out.”
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Bryan Haughley, Aitkin, struck out 10 in a win against Isle.
Jalen Busker, Staples-Motley, struck out 11 and went 2-3 with a run and three RBIs against Crosby-Ironton.
Russel Burgoyne, Pine River-Backus, went 4-4 with two doubles against Red Lake.
Joey Hanowski, Little Falls, hit a home run, his second of the week, and drove in four runs against Melrose.
Golf: Michael Strain, Staples-Motley, shot 71 for medalist honors at the St. Cloud Apollo Invite.
Nick Forsberg, Staples-Motley, shot 71 for medalist honors at the Mid-Minn Conference meet at Wadena.
Kyle Thompson, Aitkin, shot 37 to share medalist honors in a Great River Conference dual at Purple Hawk.
Dakota Waverek, Staples-Motley, shot 76 for medalist honors in a Mid-Minn meet at Ruttger’s.
Track and field: Tyler Tappe, Pequot Lakes, vaulted 14-2 for a school record at Detroit Lakes Invite.
Brian Huber, Staples-Motley, won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, long jump and high jump at the Pillager Invite.
JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop