(KMAland) -- Last month, I unveiled the top 10 hitters of the 2010s in Hawkeye Ten Conference softball. Today, we go to the baseball side of things, although there’s been a little bit of a switch.
Instead of just dropping the top 10 hitters of the 2010s, I decided it would be a little easier if we went with the best 10 seasons of the 2010s. How I evaluate a season is probably different from how others evaluate a season. I really look hard at destruction.
What I mean by destruction….I’m talking about extra-base hits, slugging percentage, on-base percentage. Guys that lit it up by hitting gaps and balls over fences. Sometimes that led to gaudy RBI totals, but that isn’t always necessarily a good gauge considering RBI can largely be a team-based stat.
With that said, here are my personal 10 best hitting seasons in Hawkeye Ten Conference baseball during the 2010s:
Corey Bertini, Glenwood (2014)
I started referring to him as “Hank” Bertini. You know, because of Hank Aaron. This was one of the top three offensive seasons of the decade, as he accumulated 116 total bases while hitting .533/.623/1.105 with a state-high 14 home runs, 12 doubles, three triples and 56 RBI. What a year.
Gunnar Blum, Atlantic (2012)
Gunnar didn’t even get 30 games in, but he did a lot of damage in 29. He had 32 total hits with 18 of them going for extra bases. Out of those 18, 11 were home runs, six were doubles and one was a triple. That’s 73 total bases and a .416/.554/.948 batting line in just 29 games. Pretty impressive.
Ryan Doran, Harlan (2018)
Doran could hit the ball out of any baseball park. He finished his career off with 18 doubles and eight home runs among 43 total hits while driving in 35 runs for another state tournament team. For the season, he finished with a .457/.580/.904 batting line.
Sean Houston, Denison-Schleswig (2014)
Houston is another member of the 100-total base club from the decade. You can’t overlook his 2014 when he had 23 extra-base hits among his 55 total. That was 10 doubles, nine home runs and four triples while hitting .451/.489/.820 for the Monarchs.
Taylor Kaufman, Glenwood (2011)
For my money, this is the best offensive season of the decade. In his senior season, the KMA Sports Hall of Famer hit .568/.675/1.137 with 32 of his 54 hits going for extra bases. There were 20 doubles, 10 home runs and two triples while driving in 60 runs. And, you may have heard, he was pretty good at pitching.
Taylor Kaufman, Glenwood (2010)
Kaufman also had a pretty strong little junior season. He had 30 extra-base hits out of his 53 total this time, finishing with 19 doubles, six triples and five home runs. He drove in 42 and hit .495/.612/.925 for the year and later got that ring.
Cole Loeffelbein, Glenwood (2016)
Yes, Glenwood had some dudes get hot during this decade. Loeffelbein had a monster 2016 in finishing with 62 total hits. Out of those, 21 were doubles, three were homers and two were triples. He hit .525/.588/.814 and accumulated 96 total bases for the season.
Garret Reisz, St. Albert (2018)
Nobody in the Hawkeye Ten had 120 total bases during the 2010s. Well, except Garret Reisz. Reisz was on one all summer long with 15 home runs among his 29 extra-base hits. In total, he had 58 hits and drove in 61 runs while hitting .504/.613/1.043.
Eric Toole, Lewis Central (2011)
The former Iowa leadoff man and minor league player, Toole had 23 extra-base hits among his 57 total while driving in 44 runs and hitting .467/.542/.787. People will definitely remember him for his speed, too, as he finished with 30 swipes in 31 tries. Kudos to the dude that threw him out.
Cody Williams, Kuemper Catholic (2011)
Here’s another that didn’t get what I would term a full season, but we definitely have to remember his amazing 2011. Williams played in just 26 games and finished the season with 16 extra-base hits among 45 total while driving in 43. That’s insane stuff. He had nine doubles, four homers and three triples while hitting .616/.678/.986. Yes, that’s .616 – or the highest batting average among a Hawkeye Ten Conference player for the decade.
Those are my 10, but here are some others that narrowly missed:
Jackson Baker, Shenandoah (2014): .500/.545/.676 with 51 total hits, 28 RBI
Bryce Berg, Kuemper Catholic (2011): .477/.584/.706 with 52 total hits, 63 RBI
Eric Croghan, Harlan (2010): .521/.651/.723 with 49 hits, 31 RBI
Ryan Doran, Harlan (2017): .442/.536/.743 with 21 XBH & 50 RBI
Chris Halbur, Kuemper Catholic (2013): .398/.489/.726 with 20 XBH, 42 RBI
Cy Patterson, St. Albert (2019): .500/.612/.849 with 22 extra-base hits, 37 RBI
Taylor Petersen, Atlantic (2010); .548/.671/.839 with 34 hits in 23 games
Garret Reisz, St. Albert (2018): .477/.596/.907 with 97 total bases, 59 RBI, 23 XBH
Dillon Sears, Harlan (2017): .438/.558/.616 with 49 total hits, 27 walks, 58 runs
Caleb Shudak, Lewis Central (2014): .488/.556/.715 with 60 total hits, 20 XBH, 32 RBI
Austin Simmons, Lewis Central (2015): .457/.581/.819 with 22 XBH, 47 RBI
Austin Simmons, Lewis Central (2014): .473/.593/.839 with 22 XBH, 50 RBI
Joel Thompson, Lewis Central (2016): .406/.553/.774 with 60 RBI on 43 total hits
Cade Van Ness, Glenwood (2019): .388/.484/.806 with 12 home runs, 83 total bases
Dakota Woods, Clarinda (2011); .514/.611/.903 with 17 XBH, 25 RBI
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