Diamond Debut

Fellowship Graduate Isaac Bouton Helps Columbus State Post 18-3 Record in 2020

It was a pretty memorable first collegiate baseball season for Isaac Bouton.

The 2019 Fellowship Christian School graduate led the Columbus State University baseball team's freshmen in just about every offensive category during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. The Cougars, 18-3 overall, finished the season ranked No. 11 in the country among NCAA Division II schools.

"We finished the season on an 11-game winning streak," Bouton said. "It was a great year for our team. We were very well-rounded: we had guys who could hit for contact and power, we had great defense and solid pitching."

It took Bouton, an award-winning letterman in baseball at Fellowship, a little bit of time to adjust to college pitching but he developed a comfort level at the plate.

"I started out struggling at the plate, but started to hit better," he said. "In high school, there aren't very many pitchers who can locate pitches consistently. In college, they all can, and their velocity is also very consistent."

Bouton saw velocity of pitching go from the 70-to-80 miles per hour range to the upper 80s in college.

The shortstop led all Cougars freshmen in batting average (.235), at-bats (85), hits (20), doubles (five), home runs (one), RBIs (18) and walks (10). He topped the team's freshmen with 20 games played and 20 starts.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound shortstop is coming off knee surgery on April 21, and is working this summer to rehab and get ready for his sophomore season.

"I want to be 100 percent healthy," he said. "Our classes start [on campus] on Aug. 21, and we start [preparing for the season] as soon as we get on campus."

Bouton also excelled in the classroom, notching a 3.6 GPA his freshman year.

"The whole dynamic was good," he said. "I continued to get more comfortable as the year went on."

Bouton had a successful career on the diamond at Fellowship filled with many memories. As a senior he hit .535 and was named Region Player of the Year, and in the classroom was a member of the National Honor Society.

"It's hard to name just a few highlights [at Fellowship]," Bouton said. "But probably my two homer game against Bowden, the no-hitter I pitched against Mount Vernon in the state playoffs and Cody Tapley's walk-off homer run [in another playoff game]. There are so many to remember. Coach Oliver was so fun to play for. He brought the utmost focus and intensity to practices and games."

Bouton, who led FCS to consecutive trips to the state playoffs in 2018 and 2019, has some advice for other freshmen athletes from Fellowship headed to college sports.

"As a person, find a group of people who share your world view, belief in Christ and your walk with God," he said. "As a player, find guys who want to work as hard as you do."

College House Ministries at Columbus State has helped Bouton connect with people who share his love of faith, God and sports.

(Photos courtesy of Columbus State University)