Logan gets SWAC honorPublished 12:01am Friday, May 25, 2012
NATCHEZ — Former Natchez High baseball player Kendall Logan thought he put up his best collegiate season in his junior year at Jackson State University.
Logan felt he did enough in his junior season to earn some post-season recognition, but none came.
This year, as a senior, Logan felt he put together another great year, but he did not think it was better than last season. But this year, the awards did come — including the top award a Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball player can receive.
Logan was named Player of the Year in the SWAC this season and also made First-Team All-SWAC as an outfielder.
“I was excited, because I felt like I deserved it last year,” Logan said. “I felt I deserved something and didn’t get anything. So once I found out, it was exciting.”
Logan said he did not play his senior season like he had something to prove to the voters, but more like he had something to prove to himself.
“There was not really a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I put up good numbers last year, and my main goal was to put up even better numbers (this year).”
Logan said a move in the lineup helped him pad his stats.
“I drove in more runs this year, because I was batting in the three hole,” Logan said. “Last year I was batting in the one- and two-spot more, and I had more chances to drive in runs this year and capitalized on that.”
Logan finished the season with a .333 batting average. He led the SWAC in home runs (11), RBIs (53) and slugging percentage (.626). He also finished in the top five in the conference in total bases, hits and runs scored.
Despite monster numbers, Logan said he had ups and downs during the year.
“I went into a slump toward the end of the year right before the SWAC Tournament,” he said. “I was hitting a home run every weekend series, and it just stopped, and I fell in a slump.”
Logan said he finally got out of his slump before the tournament, but he had to stay mentally focused during the tough times.
“I just stayed focused and didn’t lose my train of thought,” he said. “When you’re going through a slump, you can get down, but I had my teammates telling me, “It’s going to be alright. You’ll get out of the slump.’”
Logan’s huge season helped Jackson State dominate league-play in the regular season. The Tigers went 21-3 in conference and finished with an overall record of 35-16.
But after topping Texas Southern in the first round of the SWAC Tournament, Jackson State dropped their next two to miss out on making the NCAA Tournament.
“I enjoyed the run, but when it all boils down, we didn’t win the SWAC Tournament,” Logan said. “That was the main focus. We went 21-3 to give us a good position going into the tournament. But that just put ourselves in a good place to do big things, but that didn’t work.”
Logan said he could feel his senior season slipping away in the team’s final game against Texas Southern.
Texas Southern led 4-1, and Logan said he was staying positive, but then Texas Southern scored six runs in one inning.
“I was in the outfield and was like, ‘Wow, everything we worked for is going away right now,’” Logan said. “I got a little emotional as I was out there by myself, but I wouldn’t let anybody see it.”
Logan said he remained positive, but the Tigers could not come back in the end.
But Logan said he would take good memories away from Jackson State.
“I enjoyed playing ball with my teammates,” he said. “I made new friends and had two good years. My coach told me I should be proud of myself, and I truly am. I did a great job up there representing my school.”
Logan started his career at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and that was a great help once he got to Jackson State.
Logan said he was a hard worker at Natchez, but when he got to college he knew he had to work that much harder.
“Once I got to college I knew I got another chance, and didn’t want to have any regrets,” he said. “Once I left Co-Lin, I worked even harder.”
Logan hopes to continue to advance his baseball career.
“Hopefully I’ll go pro, and get another opportunity,” he said. “If I get another opportunity, I’ll work much harder than I worked at Jackson State. Hopefully there were scouts at our games, and hopefully they saw something in me.”
Logan has one more year of school before he completes his civil engineering degree, but he said he would put that education on hold if he got the opportunity to play professional ball.
“Someone told me I could be a civil engineer until I’m 80, but I can only play ball until I’m 40-something. There’s a time limit, so I want to go try to make something happen while I’m young.”