Jace Bowman, Great Bend High School’s leading hitter this past spring and a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection, has been named as a Class 5A first-team all-state selection by the Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches.
Bowman, who hit a team-leading .480 for the Panthers, has been chosen as a designated hitter for the KABC all-star games, featuring 72 all-state senior selections, ranging from 6A to 1A. The pair of nine-inning games will be played Wednesday afternoon at Kansas State University’s Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.
Bowman will be playing for Red team, which takes on the White at 1:36 p.m., followed by the Purple vs. the Black at 4:30. The Red vs. White game will be televised on Cox Channel 22.
“Jace earned that,” GBHS head coach Randy Beck said. “Not for a portion of the season, but he hit well the whole season.
“If you going to be selected to the elite all-star team in Kansas, you’ve got to be able to stand out and show your worth and he’s definitely did that this past season.”
Bowman, a second baseman, who finished the season 36-for-75 at the plate, also led the Panthers in at-bats, singles (24), home runs (2) and runs batted in (22). He also led the team in slugging percentage (.707) and on-base percentage (.557), while ranking second in doubles (9) for the Panthers, who finished 14-8 after falling to Goddard in a regional championship last month.
“A little bit of extra work he put in made a big difference,” Beck said of Bowman. “I said that at the (GBHS baseball) banquet, too.
“I praised him that he was hitting on his own a little bit, and I really think that was really the big difference right there. Hitting takes a lot of confidence and when he hit, he gained that confidence on his own and he took it into the game.”
Bowman is playing for the Great Bend Chiefs, a Class AAA American Legion baseball team, this summer.