Andy Young hits first MLB HR, milestone ball retrieved by fellow West Fargo HS alum Matt Strahm

August 9, 2020 8:30 pm

By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist

WEST FARGO – Andy Young’s first week in major league baseball playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks ended with a bang … or a blast rather.

The former West Fargo High School baseball standout hit his first MLB home run on Sunday, August 9 at Petco Park in San Diego. Young homered in the top of the ninth inning off of Padres reliever Luis Patino. Young’s home run hit to left-center field was estimated at 419 feet. The announcer broadcasting the game on television said “There’s one for West Fargo!” VIDEO: ANDY YOUNG'S FIRST MLB HOME RUN

The moment was special enough on its own, but what really put it over the top was the home run ball was retrieved by fellow West Fargo High School alum Matt Strahm, who is a pitcher with the Padres. Strahm presented the milestone ball to Young after the game. San Diego topped Arizona 9-5.

Young and Strahm were teammates on the 2010 West Fargo Packers baseball team. Strahm was a senior pitcher and first baseman and Young was a sophomore shortstop. On Sunday, they shared a big league baseball moment very serendipitous for two former prep stars from West Fargo, North Dakota.

"I was talking with another person about it today and they asked me if I ever pictured this happening to them when they were playing high school baseball," West Fargo High School baseball coach Brett Peterson said. "They were great high school players, but neither one of them was drafted out of high school. I think today speaks to the amount of work both players have put in to be where they are today. It shows a lot of character and it could not have happened to two better ball players. For both of them to be on the same high school team in 2010 and to be playing at the same time in the MLB 10 years later is pretty crazy."

On August 1, Young made his MLB debut becoming the 18th player born in North Dakota to appear in a MLB game according to Baseball Almanac joining the likes of Strahm, Darin Erstad, Travis Hafner, Rick Helling and Chris Coste.

Young recorded his first big-league hit on August 4 against the Houston Astros getting two at-bats after entering the game as a defensive replacement. Young led off the seventh inning with a double off Houston reliever Bryan Abreu and later scored in the inning. In the eighth inning, Young singled.

So far this shortened MLB season, Young is 3-for-8 (.375 batting average) 3 RBIs and two walks. Strahm is 0-1 with a 2.70 earned run average in 6.2 innings pitched and two strikeouts thus far in 2020.

Strahm and Young did not appear in the same game at any point during the three-game series between the National League West Division ball clubs.   

Young, a 2012 graduate of West Fargo High School, was the 2012 North Dakota High School Coaches Association Class A Senior Player of the Year in 2012 and also was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year that spring helping the Packers to a state championship.

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