Ross brings precision, power to the plate for Blue Mountain

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 1, 2016

Ben Ross of Palmer has always had some pop in his bat, but the right-handed slugger suffered a power outage as a freshman at Blue Mountain Community College in Washington.

So he changed his approach at the plate and it was like a light went on.

“I’ve learned that power can be substituted with precise hitting,” he told me.

Ross is no longer just a pull hitter as he’s now able to take pitches the other way, which has helped make him one of the top run producers in the NWAC.

The sophomore outfielder is hitting .336 in 34 games and ranks 10th in the league with 28 RBIs. He is also riding a 16-game hitting streak, the second longest among Alaskans playing college baseball. 

Just call him the 907’s Comeback Player of the Year.

“This year has been one for the books for me so far,” he said. “I'm finally getting the playing time I've been seeking in college, and enjoying every minute of it.”

Ross has more home runs [3] as a sophomore than he did base hits [2] as a freshman. He also has 10 doubles and a triple.

His new approach hasn’t kept him from swinging a big bat either. It’s just now he’s smarter about it. For example, he has struck out only nine times in his last 70 plate appearances.

“This approach has greatly helped when there are guys in scoring position,” he said. “Instead of trying to hit a bomb shot I relax and contain my swing to drive the ball the other way to give that greater chance of getting those runs in.”

Ross, who played high school ball at Colony and Legion for Wasilla Post 35, is hitting .389 during his hitting streak that dates back to April 6. He entered that day hitting .281 on the season. Now he’s up to .336. 

“I'm usually aggressive in the box so I'm not afraid to hack at a first-pitch strike,” he said. “I'm really anxious to hit the ball, so if it’s there, I'm hackin.”

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.