BY PEDRO VELAZCO
Taylor baseball standout Logan Barnes had been antsy for months, waiting for Tuesday to arrive. He made his college choice last fall, but had to wait to make it official.
“I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting on it for the past three months now,” Barnes said Tuesday, the day he signed to play baseball at Danville Area Community College. “I committed three months ago so I’ve been waiting for this day for a while.”
Barnes had all the information he needed to pick the school in Danville, Ill. It helped that he had friends on the inside. Cameron Clark, a senior on last season’s Taylor team, is a freshman at Danville now, as is former travel ball teammate David Anderson. The strongest input came from former Taylor player Seth Vautaw, who played at the two-year school and is now a junior on Ball State’s squad.
“It factored in a lot. They both seemed to like it a lot,” Barnes said of conversations with Clark and Vautaw.
“Seth Vautaw talked to me about how they do things old school [at Danville], in the way he likes. And I know the way he liked it in high school and that’s the way I like it, so I figured that’d be a good fit for me,” Barnes said.
Another local product, Western’s A.J. Vazquez, is a sophomore on the Danville squad.
Taylor coach Brent Owens thinks Danville will be a good fit for his shortstop.
“Logan is that type of old-school baseball player,” Owens said. “He’s not the type of kid that only plays the game three or four months a year. He’s the type of kid that works on his baseball game 12 months a year.”
Barnes led Howard County last season as a junior with a .443 batting average and with four triples. He was also among the county leaders in runs (25), doubles (seven) and steals (10). In addition, he threw 30 1/3 innings for Taylor with an ERA of 2.31 and a 4-2 record.
The school and the program of skipper Tim Bunton sold themselves when he visited.
“I really liked the coaches, they had a lot of good things to say and the campus is nice,” Barnes said. He added that it helped that he’d be able to study his major of choice — pre-med — at Danville.
Barnes thinks Danville will use him in a middle infield spot. He said as a player, he offers “speed and just kind of a utility player. I can hit wherever, and I can bunt the ball and so the things I need to do to get the team a win.”
That’s what Owens saw from Barnes in his first three seasons as a varsity player.
“He’s a very heady baseball player; he’s baseball smart,” Owens said. “He does all the little things right and he’s definitely a coach’s player from a standpoint that he knows what a coach expects from him, and he’s literally like an extension of a coach on the field. He’s a great kid to have around.”
Barnes also excelled in tennis at Taylor, and is playing basketball this winter.