WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 31, 2010, 09:20 AM

Local pitching standout gets a 2nd chance with the RedHawks

Fargo, ND (WDAY Sports) - Baseball fans in the area know the name Jake Laber well. The standout pitcher from Fargo North and NDSU is once again throwing on the north side. Now in his 2nd stint with the F-M RedHawks and as WDAY 6's Trevor Peterson tells us, Laber hopes his first experience will make all the difference.

Jake Laber's first go-round with the RedHawks was less than memorable. He'd just finished his senior season at NDSU and tried to make the jump to the Northern League. It lasted about three weeks.

Jake Laber: ”I remember I was young and unpolished.”

Laber was let go by the Hawks and signed with River City of the Frontier League, where he played the past two seasons.

Doug Simunic: “I talked to a couple of Frontier League managers who said he was the best pitcher in the league the 2nd half of last year. He made the all-star team in the Frontier League last year. We'll take a little of that.”

Laber is now back with the RedHawks. He began the season as the 5th starter.

Jl: “I’m very excited for a 2nd opportunity. It's definitely a step up in competition. I look forward to seeing how I stack up. My last year and a half have gone well. I've become better-rounded as a pitcher. I think it'll suit me well. This time I'm definitely more confident. It's basically having confidence and an aura when you're on the mound. The mental game is huge.”

DS: “He's a much different guy than the last time I had him. He was just a rare back and thrower. Now, he's more polished. He's not 90's plus now, but he's craftier, can spot stuff. He made an impression with his breaking ball. I hope he can step up and do some good. I've got a good feeling about it. He's kind of a sleeper for me. I don't think a lot of people know what to expect from him.”

And as a Fargo product that played both high school and college ball on the north side of Fargo, Laber would like nothing more than to make an impact, professionally, in his hometown.

Jl: “Very much so. It would mean a lot to play in my hometown and do well.”

Second chances aren't given to everyone. Laber hopes to take advantage of his. Tonight, the Hawks opened a series in Schaumburg. They win 2-1. Chad Rhoades gets the win, Nic Jackson with the game winning homer.