NIU outfielder Bynum bangs out 200th base hit of college career
He picked baseball and never looked back.
Bynum was drafted in the MLB in 2014 but instead went to school, where he has enjoyed historic success by becoming the just the third Alaskan since 2001 to collect 200 career base hits at the college level.
He joined an exclusive club that already included a pair of hitters from Juneau in Lance Ibesate, who collected his 200th hit with Jamestown in 2016, and Rob Conway, who reached the benchmark in 2001 with Iowa State.
“I always thought basketball was my thing and what would help me pay for college. When I chose baseball, I didn’t realize how hard the game was mentally not only physically,” Bynum told me.
“You can hit all day and it still may not click when the lights come on. It’s all about attitude and confidence.”
Bynum, of Monroe Catholic High fame, has banged out 75 hits in 72 games at Northern Illinois, a NCAA D1 school in the Mid-American Conference. Before that he had 125 hits in 105 games at Arizona Western.
The outfielder is hitting .313 in 177 career games.
Conway reached the 200-hit milestone at Mendocino College and Iowa State. Afterwards he played three seasons of independent pro ball.
Bynum hopes to go pro after college as well.
“I’m not done yet,” he said. “I’m just trying to elongate my career as long as possible. I’ve always just wanted to be the best player I can be. I’m just happy I’ve had good people in my life that support me.
“We need more people in my city and state taking the game serious. I would love to be a guy who makes it and actually comes back to Alaska.”