What Can Brown Do for UCO
Senior shortstop Justin Brown, No. 2, prepares to throw the ball in a game against Southeastern Oklahoma University on February 13 at Wendell Simmons Field. (Provided KT King/ UCO Photo Services)
The Bronchos baseball team is 26-10 this season, first in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, and senior Justin Brown is leading the way.
Brown is the returning starting shortstop for UCO, and he has improved on his stats from his junior season. The senior shortstop played and started in all 59 games as a junior.
Brown posted a .951 fielding percentage and finished with 166 assists and 86 putouts. Playing shortstop, Brown receives a majority of the hits in the field and last year finished with 13 errors in 59 games.
At the end of his junior season, Brown posted a .271 batting average with 199 at bats. The .271 batting average was 86th place in the MIAA. Now during his senior season, Brown has jumped 50 spots, with a batting average of .319. Brown is over halfway to the amount of hits he had last year (54), with 30 hits, in 94 at bats.
“Being around the program last year really helped me,” Brown said. “I’ve matured a lot and grown a lot, I’m feeling comfortable.”
In 36 games this year, Brown has 24 runs, along with 17 RBI’s and he leads the Bronchos in triples on the season with three. On the defensive side, Brown has a .952 fielding percentage, while making 14 doubles plays along the way. Brown has statistically improved on both sides of the ball this year, he attributes his success to his confidence, which has grown is his time at UCO.
Over a three game stretch in the season, the senior hit two walk-off RBI’s to seal two wins for the Bronchos. The first sent the Bronchos to a win over Central Missouri. Brown hit a walk off single to deep left center to score Caleb Peters and lead the Bronchos to a 7-6 victory.
Two games later Brown stepped up yet again. Down 0-2 in the count, Brown, delivered a shot up the middle to cap that gave the Bronchos a 4-3 victory over the Lindenwood Lions.
Brown said he believed he was just the lucky one to come up to the plate in each game, and was very confident in his teammates.
“If any guy was in that spot they would’ve done the same thing,” Brown said.
UCO is 26-10 overall, and 18- 4 in MIAA conference play. Last year, the Bronchos finished fifth in the MIAA with 20 conference wins. Winning 18 conference games this year, UCO has another 14 games of conference play left. With a team filled with seniors, the Bronchos are looking to win now.
“I wouldn’t say its different than any other year, but we really want to win with this group we have,” Brown said.
— UCO Bronchos (@ucoathletics) April 8, 2018
Brown and the Bronchos look to build on their first place position in the MIAA, as they take on Northeastern State Wednesday April 11th at 2 p.m. in Talequah.