Big swinger

All-KJCCC selection Andrew Brautman takes a cut at the plate for the Panthers.

ROBERT MAGOBET

Announced in late May, the lone player on the second team was first baseman Mason Lundgrin, while the rest of the All-KJCCC East Panthers were on the honorable mention team, including catcher Ivan Witt, infielder Daegan Brady, outfielder Khalil Thrasher, outfielder Andrew Brautman and pitcher Taylor Parrett.

All of these players helped the Panthers to a 27-27 record, including winning eight out of the last 11 games of the year and a trip to the Sub-Regional Finals in the KJCCC East No. 1 Regionals in Seward last month.

These student-athletes packed quite a punch on their road to the playoffs, though, giving the Panthers a shot at advancing to the Region VI playoffs.

Leading the team in hitting was Lundgrin, who hit .433 with 84 hits, including 15 doubles, 12 homers, and 74 RBI. In Conference play alone, he registered a .435 average with 50 total hits, including nine doubles, six homers, and 41 RBI.

On the honorable mention team was Brautman, who posted a .374 average with 74 hits, 14 doubles, five triples, 14 dingers, and grand total of 60 RBI in his final season at NCCC. The athletic outfielder also had at least one hitting streak of 12 games during the year. In Conference play, he notched a .347 average with 42 hits, seven doubles, four triples, 11 homers, and 38 runs batted in.

“You know, it’s always a cool thing. You come in with all these goals and achieve those goals (and) it’s huge for me mentally,” Brautman said. “I did everything I was supposed to do in the gym and on the field and then some, and it’s a really neat thing to see the hard work pay off. It all goes back to listening to my coaches and trusting them. Moving on from Neosho is going to be hard, but I’m ready now more than ever for the future. I’m excited to get going at Eastern Illinois.”

Witt culminated the season with a .327 average. The catcher from Fort Scott racked up 51 hits, 12 doubles, nine homers, and 39 ribbies. For KJCCC play alone, he put up a .337 average, including nine doubles, seven bombs, and 27 RBI.

“It’s a great honor to have it in such a talented Conference,” Witt said. “I owe all the thanks to my teammates and coaches for pushing me and helping me all year. Currently, I am playing for the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods Collegiate Summer League, and in the fall I will move to Omaha to attend Creighton University.”

Brady exited his sophomore season overall on a positive note despite being a little banged up. He hit .378 with 73 hits, 17 doubles, two triples, nine homers, and 46 ribbies, while in Conference play, he mustered up .353 with four hits, nine doubles, seven home runs, and 27 RBI.

Thrasher, another returning sophomore poised to excel at the next level, posted a .370 average with 64 hits, 14 doubles, five dingers, 55 RBI, and 40 walks. In Conference play, he had a .306 average with 33 hits, seven doubles, three homers, and 25 RBI.

Parrett on the mound recorded a 3-3 record with a 5.11 ERA in 49 and 1/3 innings in KJCCC action. Tallying 56 strikeouts, his opponents hit just .237 versus the right-handed pitcher.

The following was posted on the NCCC website:

“Panther baseball wishes this group the best of luck as they continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. This group set the tone this year and paved the way for the next generation of Panther baseball players.” 

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