Alaska Baseball

Meet the Mat-Su Miners, including a Texan that misses home cooking, and an infielder who went to the same Cleveland school as Kid Cudi

Summer is officially in full swing and for many sports fans, that means baseball.

The Alaska Baseball League features college players from all over the United States. While a few of the players in the league are from Alaska, the great majority are from the Lower 48.

The Anchorage Daily News is talking to a few players from each of the five ABL teams. We asked them what they’ve liked about Alaska, what they miss from back home and what else they’re into. Today, in the final installment of the series, we talked to a trio from the Mat-Su Miners. The Miners are currently leading the ABL with a 13-4 record.

Owen Loesch

ABL Baseball

Loesch is a 21-year-old right handed pitcher from the University of New Mexico going into his senior season.

Hometown: Graham, Texas

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. I played 18 holes (of golf) this morning so playing golf and working out.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. Definitely mama’s cooking. My parents are going to come up for the 4th of July.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. Definitely the Texas Rangers but I wouldn’t say I have a favorite player. In my younger years I really looked up to Clayton Kershaw a lot. I always liked his (throwing) motions.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. Just the experience of being able to come to Alaska. I’ve always wanted to come up here and I love playing baseball so it was a two birds, one stone kind of thing.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. I was just worried about whether I’d be able to sleep or not with all the light but we got blackout blinds so it works out.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I got to go old-school country, the Marty Robbins era. Lorretta Lynn is a good one.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. “Peaky Blinders,” I like the grittiness and the gore of it. I love it.

Nathan Rose

ABL Baseball

Rose is a 21-year-old infielder from Bowling Green State University going into his senior year.

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. Just explore around with the guys. It’s a great group that we’re here and seeing Alaska with.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. My friends are home from school right now so not being able to see them is tough but being in Alaska is pretty cool so I’ll take it.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. I’m a Cleveland Guardians fan and my favorite player right now is José Ramírez. He just plays free and has fun with it so that’s what I try to do.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. I heard it is a great league and my coach mentioned it one day and I said “sign me up” and here I am now.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. I knew it was pretty but other than that I didn’t really know much about it but it’s definitely blown me away so far.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I like rap. Kid Cudi is my favorite. He went to my high school so I like him for that and his rhythm and beats.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. I just finished “The Lincoln Lawyer.” It was really good. I like suspenseful shows.

Cade Manning

ABL Baseball

Manning is a 21-year-old outfielder from Texas State University heading into his junior year.

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. Just hanging out with my friends honestly. Hanging out with my new teammates and going around and seeing a bunch of stuff I don’t normally see in Texas. I’ve got to enjoy it while I’m here for these two months.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. My hometown friends. I got close with a bunch of guys at Texas this year so I miss them but it’s good to get a little break and get back to them in a couple months.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. My favorite team is the Boston Red Sox and my favorite player is Mookie Betts. He was a big part of the Red Sox’s success the past couple years when he played for them before he got traded to the Dodgers so it’s hard not to root for him.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. My coaches brought up the opportunity to play in Alaska and I couldn’t say no. I played in Texas last summer and it was like any other summer ball league so I wanted to get a new experience and have some fun outside of baseball.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. Just that it was beautiful. I knew some people that played there and they said if I got the chance to play, I had to take it so here I am.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. It kind of changes for me. In the summer I like country a lot but in the fall and winter, I like rap and hip hop. I like Cody Johnson, he’s one of the best.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. “The Blacklist” is my favorite TV series. It’s just interesting and you never know what you’re going to get. Raymond Reddington is a great TV character, one of the best, that’s why I like it.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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