By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
A broken hand cost Jordan Barchus a season at Lower Columbia College but it did not derail his dream of playing Division-I baseball.
The 2014 McNary graduate has signed a commitment letter with the University of San Francisco.
“That’s been my goal growing up, to play Division-I baseball,” Barchus said. “It’s amazing to see how far I have come, just how much better a person and how much better at baseball I’ve gotten. Especially the last three years, I did a lot of growing up and made me ready for Division-I baseball.”
After playing sparingly as a role player his freshman season, Barchus broke his hamate bone swinging a bat early in his second year and red-shirted.
Barchus spent last summer playing with the Gresham GreyWolves to prepare for his final season at Lower Columbia, a two-year community college in Longview, Wash.
“There’s a lot of Division-I baseball guys playing in the summer league so I get to face all of that competition to get me prepared to head to the next level,” Barchus said.
Batting cleanup and playing third base, Barchus returned for the 2017 season and led Lower Columbia with 44 RBIs along with 24 runs, seven doubles, two triples and two home runs while hitting .317.
On May 29, the Red Devils won their second Northwest Athletic Conference in three seasons. Barchus was voted to the all-tournament team as well as First Team All-NWAC during the regular season.
“It’s a dream come true to be part of a college championship team,” Barchus said. “You see the fruit of your labor from all of the hard work that you put in at the beginning of September, all the way until the end of May. It’s just unbelievable to see how much you grow, your team grows and it’s just a lot of fun.”
Part of Barchus’ growth was getting bigger, faster and stronger. Barchus weighed 150-155 pounds when he arrived at Lower Columbia three years ago but will leave at 175.
“There’s a lot of extra conditioning at Lower Columbia that we do that pushes you to become a better baseball player,” Barchus said. “It makes you tougher.”
With his future in doubt, Barchus didn’t hear from San Francisco until about a week before the NWAC tournament.
“I’m pretty sure I was the last one from my team to sign or commit somewhere so it was a little frustrating for the type of season I was having,” Barchus said. “These are my best friends so I was extremely happy for them but I was just personally frustrated. I just kept playing the game. It was out of my control. I just dealt with the things I could control and play really good baseball.
“I was going to keep playing, didn’t know if it was going to be Division-I level but I was going to keep playing no matter what.”
In mid-June, he received a second offer from High Point University in North Carolina, before deciding to sign with San Francisco the first week of July.
“I just felt like I had the best opportunity and the best chance for that team to go to the NCAA playoffs and especially for me to grow as a human being even further,” Barchus said. “I felt like it was a really good fit program wise.”
Barchus plans to major in the human physiology field. He wants to be a surgeon or chiropractor.
But signing with a Division-I program also gets Barchus closer to another dream.
“The childhood dream is to play pro baseball and I’m just a step closer to that reality,” he said. “I’ve just got to work harder. Only the 1 percent of the 1 percent will get that opportunity to get paid to play baseball. Now, I’ve got to make new goals and that’s definitely one of them.”