After a banner season for St. Louis Community College’s baseball team, the Archers have received a steady stream of postseason awards, as well. Infielder Jacob Walters became the latest recipient, as he was named a Marucci Elite Hitter for the South Central District.
The Marucci Elite Hitter awards are distributed to the top hitter from each of the 10 NJCAA baseball districts.
Walters, who missed three weeks due to an early-season rib cage injury, batted a team-best .480 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in just 127 at-bats. Upon his return from injury, Walters provided a vaunted 3-4 combination in the Archers’ lineup for the second half of the year.
That combination helped to vault the Archers from a 6-10 team on March 19 to one that reeled off 28 wins in their final 41 games to win the first Region XVI baseball title in Archers’ history, and the first for any STLCC baseball team in nine years.
Walters and Brandon Gutzler, who batted .425 on the year, led an Archers’ offense that combined for a .330 team average.
“He’s a guy who, when he came back from his injury, really wasn’t able to hit for a lot of power due to the nature of what it was,” head coach Scott Goodrich said following Walters’ return.
It didn’t take long, however, for Walters to reclaim his power stroke. In addition to his eight home runs, Walters added a team-most 25 doubles, giving him 33 extra-base hits among his 61 total hits.
Walters’ power punctuated the Archers’ late-season surge, highlighted by a go-ahead grand slam in a 5-3 win over Crowder College in the final week of the regular season. The Archers went on to win three of four against Crowder, and then win three consecutive regional games, en route to the region title and appearance in the South Central District playoff.