Baseball catcher uplifts team


Jonathan Wong

Freshman Catcher Harry Owen. Owen was named CRC athlete of the week twice this season.

It is the bottom of the 7th inning in a pitcher’s duel with a tied score of 2.
The Cosumnes River College Hawks are approaching their last opportunities to win the game and the series against the San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs.
Freshman catcher Harry Owen approaches the plate, and gains the lead for CRC with a two-run homerun over the left field fence.
This game is just like any other for Owen. It’s an opportunity to better himself and to win.
At 19 years old, Owen has been around the game for almost his whole life, and has dedicated countless hours towards his skill set.
“Failure has always been my greatest setback, I used to not get a lot of playing time, and often found myself at the bottom of the batting order,” Owen said. “I didn’t let that discourage me from playing the game I loved, and that has helped me become the athlete I am today.”
Owen’s passion for the game began when he was 7 years old. His older siblings played softball and baseball, and he often found himself catching their pitches.
From there, he joined his first travel team at age 8 and continued with them through fall of 2020. Owen originally committed to play for Auburn University, but due to Covid restrictions decided to attend CRC instead.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years, and Harry is definitely in the top of those players I have coached,” said head baseball coach Don Mico. “He is a coach’s dream, he made my job pretty easy this year.”

Owen had an impressive first season at the plate for CRC, with a .394 batting average and .697 slugging percentage, leading the team in RBI’s with 28 for the season. In the field, Owen was a consistent catcher with a .974 fielding percentage.
With stats like those, Owen stood out to many four-year colleges and some professional baseball scouts.
“I have received some interest from professional scouts, and have been receiving requests to complete questionnaires on Draft Prospect Link,” Owen said. “Though receiving interest doesn’t necessarily mean that I will get drafted, it is my goal to play at the professional level.”
His teammates say that Owen brought more to the CRC baseball team than stats.
“He’s a good leader by example of how to carry yourself on the field and to complete your role on the team,” said center fielder Ethan Walker, 19. “He’s a funny guy, he always had everyone laughing.”
Owen’s fondest memory of his first season with the Hawks was the game against the San Joaquin Delta College. After winning the series in the third game, the team celebrated with a famous social media dance titled, “The Griddy.”
Beyond baseball, Owen has a passion for strength training and conditioning. As a kinesiology major, his goal is to complete his degree and become a strength and conditioning coach at the college or professional level.
Harry has had a lot of setbacks throughout the years. With Covid restrictions limiting his 2020 and 2021 seasons, Owen had to battle this adversity to continue to pursue his passion for the game.

“During 2021 I had lots of times where I wasn’t playing in games,” said Owen. “I made sure to continue to practice everyday and surround myself with baseball through giving lessons and helping to coach to continue to better myself as an athlete.”
Owen’s leadership and commitment to the game benefitted the Hawks in many ways throughout the season.
“Harry was easily our best hitter all year, he was one of our hardest workers and the work he did behind the plate was unmatched in our conference,” said 20-year-old pitcher Evan Reece. “My favorite moment was against Santa Rosa, he hit a home run in the 8th inning to keep the game close. He was always a very clutch hitter.”
It was the team’s goal to make it to the playoffs this season, and Owen was a big part of that.
“After a rough start to the season, we had to win seven out of the nine final games we had in order to make it to the playoffs,” said utility Royce Tsumara, 18. “Harry’s leadership kept the team’s morale high in the last few series leading up to playoffs, he played a huge role in us being able to go as far as we did…we ended up winning six of the games and boosted our rankings just enough to secure a seat.”
Looking forward, Owen said he plans to continue with CRC for another year if no free agent contracts or drafting possibilities emerge for the next season.
“There’s a lot of interest in Harry, he’s a good player,” Mico said. “Selfishly, I hope things don’t work out for him because I’d love to have him back, but in all actuality things will work out for him because he is a great player, he deserves to play baseball at the next level.”