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Sometimes a little luck goes a long way toward producing state championships. Great coaches have been known to mold pretty good baseball teams into champions as well.
But nothing beats talent.
As the Nebraska state baseball tournament came to a conclusion earlier this month, MaxPreps began taking a look at which Nebraska prep baseball players made the year's strongest run toward the Triple Crown (leading the state in batting average, home runs registered and runs batted in).
After pouring through the numbers on MaxPreps' statistics database Tuesday, 10 different programs placed baseball players at or near the top of the list. Norris, however, stood out after landing two of its players in this week's Top 10.
Sean Bartholomew's Titans, the No. 4 team in the latest MaxPreps Nebraska Class B baseball ratings, placed junior Joel Benes in the No. 7 spot in this week's Top 10. But the fun doesn't stop there for Norris. The Titans hold the Triple Crown bragging rights going into next season after landing Joe Osborn in the top spot.
Osborn did not achieve the Triple Crown, but he did come real close after finishing in the Cornhusker State's Top 10 in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. The senior shortstop, who guided the Titans to a strong finish at the state baseball tournament, hit an eighth-best .490 for the year, belted a second-best four home runs and knocked in a state-leading 37 runs.
Benes, a junior first baseman, hit .372 for the year, produced three round trippers and knocked in another 34 runs for Norris. Both Osborn and Benes finished in the Top 5 in home runs and produced two of the top three RBI totals.
Grand Island's Cole Evans hit a massive .556 for the year, while adding a home run and 30 RBI to his stat line to finish as the state's runner-up for the second straight year. Noah Greise of Millard South and Class B state champion Bennington's Cooper Prososki hit .408 and .398, respectively, and sit in the Nos. 3 and 4 spots respectively in this week's Top 10. Platte Valley's Hayden Lewis rounds out the Top 5 after hitting .411 earlier this spring.
Class A state champion Millard West's Max Anderson and Kyler Randazzo of Elkhorn tied for the No. 10 spot, forcing us to add an 11th Triple Crown contender to this week's Top 10. Thurston-Cuming County sophomore Lucas Vogt led Nebraska with a .559 batting average, but did not make this week's Top 10. Anderson led the Cornhusker State with nine home runs, while Prososki and Osborn produced a state-best 37 runs batted in each.
In order to be considered for this week's Top 10, a baseball player had to make the Top 50 in at least one of the three categories according to MaxPreps' statistics database. Then, after we logged each of the 145 athlete's numbers in each category, a point system was used to calculate the Top 10.Nebraska's Top 10 Triple Crown baseball players
1. Joe Osborn, Norris (Firth), Senior, Shortstop
.490 Batting Average | 4 Home Runs | 37 Runs Batted In2. Cole Evans, Grand Island, Senior, Outfielder
.556 Batting Average | 1 Home Run | 30 Runs Batted In3. Noah Greise, Millard South (Omaha), Junior, Third Baseman
.408 Batting Average | 3 Home Runs | 25 Runs Batted In4. Cooper Prososki, Bennington, Junior, Center Fielder
.398 Batting Average | 2 Home Runs | 37 Runs Batted In5. Hayden Lewis, Platte Valley (Shelton), Freshman, Infielder
.411 Batting Average | 2 Home Runs | 22 Runs Batted In6. Aiden Bishop, North Star (Lincoln), Senior, First Baseman
.419 Batting Average | 1 Home Run | 27 Runs Batted In7. Joel Benes, Norris (Firth), Junior, First Baseman
.372 Batting Average | 3 Home Runs | 34 Runs Batted In8. Colin Quick, Blair, Junior, First Baseman
.449 Batting Average | 1 Home Run | 20 Runs Batted In9. Ian Steinmeyer, Waverly, Junior, Outfielder
.413 Batting Average | 1 Home Run | 24 Runs Batted In10. (tie) Max Anderson, Millard West (Omaha), Junior, Infielder
.366 Batting Average | 9 Home Runs | 26 Runs Batted In10. (tie) Kyler Randazzo, Elkhorn, Sophomore, Shortstop
.423 Batting Average | 1 Home Run | 21 Runs Batted In