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Dominant pitcher Henry Owens of Edison is The Times’ player of the year

There is a Zen-like calmness when Henry Owens of Huntington Beach Edison is on the mound.

Spectators can be screaming, the scoreboard blinking and teammates twitching during a pressure-filled situation, and all that means is Owens is probably grinning and thinking he’s in control.

“My dad has always told me pressure is a privilege,” Owens said. “I like pressure situations.”

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The 6-foot-7 senior left-hander was involved in 15 of Edison’s 25 victories, finishing 12-1 with three saves. He struck out 140 in 912/3 innings and gave up 44 hits. His 1.15 earned-run average demonstrated how difficult it was for opponents whenever he was on the mound.

For emerging as the most dominant pitcher in Southern California, Owens has been selected The Times’ player of the year in high school baseball.

“When you have a 90-plus fastball, plus three other pitches to complement that, high school hitters are going to have a tough time hitting him,” Coach Steve Lambright said. “He’s very calm, and that’s one of the attributes that’s going to help him at the next level.”

Owens has been a starting pitcher since his freshman season. Lambright can still remember Owens walking five batters and hitting two among the nine batters he faced in a summer league game before his varsity debut.

“You see how far he’s come,” Lambright said.

Selected as the 38th pick overall by the Boston Red Sox in Monday’s amateur draft, Owens is looking forward to starting his professional career, but he’s grateful for his time in high school.

“It was some of the best times in my life my four years at Edison,” he said. “I wouldn’t change anything.”

Most impressive about Owens’ development during his senior year was his efficiency in throwing strikes. He threw a no-hitter in Edison’s Southern Section Division 1 playoff opener against Corona Santiago and was much improved in cutting down his pitch count.

“I want to see how good I can get, and you have to keep working hard,” he said.

Lambright realizes the effect Owens had for the Edison baseball program.

“I might coach another six, seven years, and I won’t have another kid like him,” Lambright said.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATSondheimer


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