AP NEWS

A grandmother’s dream

June 30, 2018 GMT

Shirley Loseke always believed.

All the years the Columbus resident spent watching her grandson, Barrett Loseke, shine on baseball fields as a youngster, she had a feeling he would succeed.

So when she found herself watching Barrett play for Arkansas in this year’s College World Series in Omaha, it was simply her vision coming to fruition.

“I’m not surprised at all with the success he’s had,” Loseke said. “He’s had a baseball glove on his hand since he was 3 and everything he’s always done in sports he’s been good at and also been a really hard worker.”

Barrett’s father, Craig Loseke, a Columbus High School 1986 graduate, said he knew his son had the ability early on. It was simply a question of stature, he noted.

“Barrett’s always been very talented,” said Craig Loseke, of his son, who also starred in basketball and golf during his high school career. “But, he’s always been small.”

These days, Barrett Loseke stands 6-feet tall and weighs in at 175 pounds – small for a pitcher – but not enough to dissuade the New York Yankees from selecting him in the 17th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball entry draft.

As for his numbers during the just-concluded CWS in which the Razorbacks advanced to the best-of-three finals against Oregon State before ultimately losing to the Beavers in Game 3 on Wednesday, Loseke did quite well.

The right-hander appeared in four games, pitching eight scoreless innings, while surrendering only a single base-on-balls and striking out 11.

According to Craig Loseke, at this point in Barrett’s career, it’s much tougher on him watching his son compete than what the player himself is feeling on the mound.

“As far as the pressure goes, back when he was a freshman, he felt it more, like the first visit to LSU (Louisiana State University), for example,” said Craig Loseke. “But now it’s definitely more nervous for the family watching, although we’re trying to enjoy every moment of it.”

As for Shirley Loseke, she’s also been using the entire experience in Omaha to not only enjoy her grandson’s success on the field, but to take advantage of so much of her family being reunited.

“We’ve got family from all over here this week,” she said. “I never thought I’d be experiencing all this – it’s been an absolute thrill.”

Scott Akanewich is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at scott.akanewich@lee.net.