Fegen carries on family traditionJune 23, 2017
Sometimes a youth’s summer life in Iowa and the central plains of the United States can focus around lemonade stands, the local swimming pool, ice cream and other rites of the months of June, July and August.
While Luke Fegen may have had some of those experiences growing up, the biggest part of his attention turned to baseball diamonds. A look at his family’s background makes it easy to understand.
From having a role as a bat boy for his older brother Cole’s teams, gaining knowledge from his father Nick, who donned a University of Iowa uniform in the early 1980s, or even playing travel ball in the areas around the family home in Waukee, it’s no surprise the recent Des Moines Area Community College standout, who appeared in over 100 games for the Bears, found himself in Kokomo, Indiana, and the Prospect League collegiate wood bat organization this summer.
His offensive prowess, which was evident at DMACC as he hit .300 or better in each of his two seasons, made the two-state journey, too. After an admittedly slow start during the first week, the Jackrabbits’ outfielder sky-rocketed into the PL’s top 20 in batting average and hits before “cooling” to his current mark of .307. Even with a recent run of three successive hitless outings, Fegen is showing signs of climbing the league’s statistical charts again, taking a five-game hit string into a Friday, June 23, game against defending league champion West Virginia.
Fegen is quick to credit the Brown and Gold’s coaching staff, especially first-year field manager Gary McClure, for his success.
“Coach Mac told me to stay short (with my bat),” he said. “Guys throw hard in this league and, if you get long which means seeing your hands drop when go through the zone, you’re not quick and powerful with your swing. When you are staying short, it makes things more compact, which is what you want.
It was tough early, as there was some time off between college and coming out here as well as transitioning to hitting with a wood bat,” he added. “Baseball is tough sometimes. It can be a game of failure, but it is all about how you approach it at that point on whether you have success or not. You just have to keep working. Now, I’m a little more comfortable with my surroundings and seeing a lot more pitches.”
As he prepares to make the Hoosier State his home for the next two years of his collegiate career at Indiana State, Fegen is enjoying his time in the Howard County city this summer.
“I did leave behind family and friends deciding to come out here, but baseball is important in my life, and this was a great opportunity,” he said. “As I’ve gotten older, I wanted to branch out for my career. It has been a great experience, as I have learned a lot and gotten better.
The guys are awesome here,” he added. “It’s been fun to come in and meet a totally new bunch of people. The city, Kokomo Municipal Stadium and the fans have been great … it’s a wonderful set-up.”
Continuing to carry on a Fegen family tradition … spending summer time with the great American pastime.