Jake Barlow of Monterey not only excelled on the baseball field at Delta State University this past season, he also excelled in the classroom.
Barlow was one of 61 Delta State student-athletes named to the Gulf South Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll.
The Statesmen baseball team led the way with 23 honorees followed by Lady Statesmen softball (14), Statesmen tennis (9), Lady Statesmen tennis (8), and Statesmen golf (7). A complete listing of Delta State’s honorees is listed below.
Academic All-GSC Teams are selected by the Gulf South Conference Sports Information Directors (SIDs) and Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) in a joint vote.
Nominees must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or better on a 4.00 scale for their entire academic career and may not be freshmen or first-semester or quarter transfers. The student-athlete must be a significant contributor to the squad. Other factors include leadership, community service and extra-curricular activities. SIDs and FARs are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes. The number of student-athletes selected in each sport is determined by the number of positions normally involved in the playing of that sport. Ties are not broken.
Barlow, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science, carried a grade point average of 3.17.
“Grades have always been very important to me,” Barlow said.
Barlow said it’s tough keeping up your studies during baseball season.
“It was not as hard this year as it was two years ago when we had a lot of road games and got in late,” Barlow said. “It’s not a lot of fun. There’s a lot of studying. We do have a study hall which I take advantage of quite a bit.”
Barlow is in Cleveland this summer taking a class.
“I just want to get a couple of hours ahead so I don’t have to stay in school as long,” he said.
Barlow made quite a splash at Delta State in his first season after transferring from Hinds Community College. He garnered postseason honors announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Barlow was named NCBWA Third-Team All-American and Riggins garnered NCBWA Honorable Mention All-American honors while the duo was also named ABCA First-Team All-South Region. Minton garnered ABCA All-South Region laurels to round out his senior season.
Barlow adds the honor to his list of postseason accolades that include First-Team All-Gulf South Conference and D2CAA and NCBWA First-Team-All-South Region. He hit .322 while leading the Statesmen with 68 hits, 11 home runs, five triples, and 47 runs scored and a .588 slugging percentage while ranking second with 53 RBIs and 13 doubles.
Barlow led the GSC in triples, ranked fourth in home runs, sixth in runs scored, slugging percentage and RBIs and seventh in hits. Barlow led the Green-and-White with 13 multi-RBI games and was second with 18 multi-hit games. Barlow’s five triples ranked 23rd nationally.
But Barlow knows he will have to prove himself all over again after Mike Kinnison resigned and will focus on his Director of Athletics job.
After five seasons as the head coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Rodney Batts is returning to his alma mater as Delta State University’s 10th head baseball coach.
Batts, a former All-Gulf South Conference second baseman, played for former skipper Bill Marchant during the 1995 and 1996 seasons at Delta State. He hit .334 with 24 doubles, eight triples, 10 home runs, 86 RBIs and 39 stolen bases during his DSU career.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Coach Batts,” Barlow said. “But now it’s on me to prove myself to him. I was feeling very secure before Coach Kinnison resigned. Now I have to show Coach Batts what I can do. It’s kind of like being a freshman all over again. But I’m eager to get back out there.”