Hampton’s Owens hits 37 stolen bases, seeks to steal record
Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Teams that face Hampton in baseball better lock up their bases and throw away the key because Bulldogs senior Dru Owens is coming after them.
With a quick slide into third base Thursday night at Scotty Bunton Field, the speedy Bulldog stole his 37th base on the season—and this is out of 38 attempts.
The thievery is not likely to end soon as Owens chases the Northeast Tennessee record for most stolen bases in a season which, according to the website Tennessee Baseball Report, sits at 38 after the bar was set by Dobyns-Bennett’s Michael Farthing in 1996. And with the record in Owen’s sights, Hampton head coach Nicholas Perkins has given Owens the green light to steal away.
“Dru Owens is an offensive weapon,” said Perkins Wednesday evening. “He gets aggressive leads, and as the season has gone on, he has grown more intelligent on when to pick his opportunities to be in motion. He is the first guy that I have coached that I have given the green light to. If he gets the read, he has the liberty to go. He is an offensive weapon and our ball club will miss him tremendously in 2019.”
Owens, who has been running the base paths every since he little, said that Coach Perkin’s trust in him makes stealing bases even easier.
“Perkins is a good coach, and he puts trust in me which gives me the confidence to steal anytime I feel like I can,” said Owens. “It has been working well. It really helps around the base paths when your coach has a lot of confidence in you.”
So how does Owens know it’s prime time to snatch up a base? Well, its all about watching the other team’s catcher.
“I watch the catcher’s arm,” said Owens. “I watch how he has been looking. How he has been returning the ball back to the pitcher. His lift, if it is slow or if it is fast. It’s all about the delivery and timing.”
Owens and the Bulldogs will be back at it this Friday as they take on Sullivan North in the opening round of the District 1-A tournament at David Crockett High School.