VESTAL (WBNG) – “I mean I had pitched a little bit for my travel team growing up but I was predominately the catcher for most of the games for my brother,” said Binghamton pitcher Ben Anderson.
Baseball runs in the blood of the Anderson family but growing up Ian was the pitcher and his twin brother Ben was the catcher.
“Me and him are super close, we talk all the time about baseball, we talk everyday pretty much,” said Ben.
In the pair’s junior year of high school, everything changed for Ben.
“The team was going to need some pitching that year for high school baseball so the coach had me throw a little bit off the mound,” said Ben.
The rest was history. In the summer of 2016 Ian was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the third overall pick in the MLB draft.
“It’s just awesome having a role model that you know so well and it just makes you push yourself hard so that you can try and get to that level,” said Ben.
Ben was selected later in that draft but decided to forgo playing pro ball to go to school in Binghamton, where he was now strictly a pitcher.
“Being able to watch him from that perspective my whole life has given me a different view on pitching,” said Ben.
Now in his junior year with the Bearcats, Anderson leads the America East in both wins and strikeouts, sitting second in ERA.
“Obviously in a team sport like baseball that is what makes individual performances a lot easier, when the team is playing well as whole,” said Ben.
“I think he has a really high ceiling, and he has an extremely hard work ethic and I think that could take him a long way,” said Binghamton freshman catcher Connor Aoki.
No Binghamton baseball player has been selected higher than the 5th round of the draft but come June that might all change.
“I think it is something that you really can’t just ignore, I think that it is a cool experience for him to have and we just like for him to do his best in front of them,” said Aoki.
“It is every player’s dream to get a chance to try and play professionally and eventually hope to try and make it to the big leagues, it is something that I have tried to keep in the back of my head and not like at the front, winning games for this team is most important and I think we are doing a great job of that,” said Ben.
Among all the chaos, when Anderson toes the rubber he is only thinking about a few simple things.
“Limit the other team’s offense as best as I can that day and hope that our guys can score more runs than the other team,” said Ben.
The Bearcats will return home for three games this weekend with Anderson scheduled to pitch on Saturday.