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Barton’s Rodgers, Cougars earn honors
alex rodgers


Barton Community College centerfielder Alex Rodgers earned first-team All-America honors to highlight postseason honors for the Cougars. Rodgers previously swept top awards as the Jayhawk West’s Most Valuable Player and Outfield Gold Glove recipient. 

Barton head baseball coach Brent Biggs was tabbed as the KJCCC West Coach of the Year. The  Cougars (41-18, 24-8) won their 10th Jayhawk West title that earned Biggs his second Coach of the Year honor. Henry Hayman was named Freshman of the Year.

Great Bend Bat Cat Rodgers will play college baseball at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas, 640 miles from Great Bend.

Rodgers excelled as a 3-sport standout at Omaha (Neb.) Roncalli. He played point guard for a 25-3 state basketball runner-up that played three consecutive overtime thrillers; played halfback/receiver while accounting for 2,115 yards in football, and starred on the varsity baseball team. 

He jumped on an baseball offer from Barton Community College, where he played for three seasons.

“Making first team All-America is a big surprise,” Rodgers said. “It’s a pretty cool honor. I credit my teammates because I always played as good as I could for them.”

Rodgers mixes his speed and athleticism with his superb knowledge of baseball and attention to detail.

“I take pride in my defense,” he said. “Defense allows you to contribute even when you don’t get on base that day.”

He enjoyed a spectacular season on the bases with 61 steals in 68 attempts.

“You watch the catcher and the pitcher for small details,” he said. “Your goal is choosing a good pitch to run on, a breaking pitch if you can. The key is trusting yourself, knowing you’ve done it before.”

At the plate, Rodgers uses his good eye to work walks, but swings away when the count’s in his favor.

“My goal is to make the pitcher throw strikes and don’t chase pitches,” he said. “You’ve got to maintain confidence. I want to hit a liner up the middle. When I hit for power, that’s something that happens. “I’m most proud of cutting down on strikeouts.”

 Ricardo Sanchez and Zach Thornton earned Jayhawk West and Region 6 honors. Carson Cornelius picked up first-team KJCCC, Hayman receiving a second team KJCCC selection and Owen Reynolds claiming an honorable mention distinction. 

Sanchez and Connor Allen earned Region 6 Gold Gloves.



Rodgers won conference player of the week twice this season including a NJCAA national player of the week honor. Rodgers sat atop the team’s top-two spots in just about every offensive statistical category. Holding a conference and region best batting average of .443 and .558 on-base percentage for the year, Rodgers found his way producing a team leading 94 hits, 113 runs and 61 stolen bases in 68 attempts. Following a second team KJCCC selection last season, the Stephen F. Austin signee set the programs single season runs scored and stolen bases record while jumping into the top-10 single season categories fabricating the seventh best average, eighth most at-bats, third most hits, second most doubles and drawing the second most hit-by-pitches.

Earning his first Region VI Gold Glove award the sophomore was phenomenal patrolling center field for the Cougars posting a .984 fielding percentage gathering 123 putouts, wih four assists and two errors in the 129 total chances.



Gold Glove recipient Sanchez was also a mainstay in the Barton lineup for all 59 games in anchoring the middle infield at second base. Securing a pair of conference player of the week awards and national player of the week distinction, Sanchez battled Rodgers throughout the year in almost every offensive category. The freshman not only set the program’s single season records with 35 doubles and 90 RBIs but also led the conference and region. Ranked second on the team in batting average at .442, Sanchez drew a team high 49 walks and legged out five triples while finishing second on the club generating 91 hits, nine big fly’s as well as swiping 27 bases in 31 tries.

Helping roll up 29 double plays on the season, Sanchez collected Barton’s second gold glove award committing just four errors in 230 total attempts for a .983 fielding percentage.



Thornton anchored the Barton pitching staff to the third lowest ERA in the league. Making 15 starts, the sophomore posted the program’s highest unblemished single season record with a 9-0 mark. Finishing the year third in the Region VI with a 2.63 ERA, Thornton allowed just 23 earned runs while logging the second most 78.2 innings in the region and fourth most in the programs single season while striking out 91 batters finishing with the fifth most punch outs in the programs single season record book.



Cornelius appeared in 21 games as a relief pitcher locking down five of the teams nine saves ranking third in the KJCCC West. The Nickerson native finished with a 3.00 ERA allowing eight earned runs in 24 innings with 16 strikeouts.



Hayman earned West Freshman of the Year honors with four triples, nine home runs and 63 runs batted in 44 games. Hayman batted .384, ranked third in hits (63) with 19 doubles and 19 multi-hit games. He ended with a nine-game hitting streak.



Earning a pair of conference pitcher of the week awards, Reynolds landed on the honorable mention team as a starting pitcher. Logging a team second most 58.1 innings, the freshman concluded his first year in the Barton blue with a 6-1 record over 13 games started holding a 4.63 ERA and managed a 65 to 30 strikeout to walk ratio.



Appearing in 55 of the 59 games, Allen was nails behind the dish claiming the third defensive award following his perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Collecting 366 putouts and 32 assists, the sophomore catcher gunned down 12 would be base stealers. Concluding his two-year career catching in 99 games, the Wichita, Kansas product, committed just one error while racking up 677 putouts, 57 assists and throwing out 25 base runners on the base paths.