by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – Former Barton College right-handed pitcher Trent Fennell recently completed his first season of minor league baseball with the Grand Junction Rockies of the rookie-level Pioneer League. He was selected in the 24th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies.
Fennell tallied 99 strikeouts during his senior campaign for the Bulldogs to break his previously-held record for strikeouts in a single season. Fennell also set Barton's NCAA Division II era record for strikeouts in a career with 252. Fennell made 52 appearances and 43 starts for the Bulldogs while going 17-17 with eight complete games in 240.1 innings of work.
The Grand Junction Rockies captured the 2018 Pioneer League South Division Champions after defeating the Ogden Raptors. Grand Junction would be swept by the Great Falls Voyagers in the Pioneer League Championship Series. Grand Junction finished the second half with a 23-15 mark, which secured a playoff berth after finishing third in the first-half standings.
Fennell finished his first season in professional baseball with a 1-2 record and 4.24 earned run average through seven starts for Grand Junction. He also made six relief appearances for the Rockies. Fennell worked 34 innings, fanning 32 batters and issuing 15 walks.
The Dunn, N.C. native finished his season for Grand Junction by fanning eight batters without issuing a walk through five innings of work. Fennell scattered four hits in recording his first professional win for the Rockies as Grand Junction defeated the Orem Owlz 9-2 on Aug. 30.
He went 6-5 in 2018 as a senior for Barton, tossing a pair of complete games. Fennell recorded a career-high 16 strikeouts against Clarion University on Mar. 9 at Nixon Field. His other complete game effort came in a 4-1 win for BC to open Conference Carolinas play against King University on Feb. 23. He would also help the Bulldogs record a 6-5 victory against nationally-ranked Belmont Abbey College on April 14 as he recorded seven strikeouts and yielded just two runs through five innings.
Fennell was the first Barton baseball player to be selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft since Kramer Sneed in 2010. Sneed was selected by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round after finishing his junior season with the Bulldogs.