Former Cinco Ranch standout Henderson named NJCAA Pitcher of Year
A little more than three weeks after leading McLennan Community College to the 2021 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national championship, freshman pitcher and former Cinco Ranch standout Logan Henderson was named NJCAA Division I Pitcher of the Year.
Henderson, a Texas A&M signee, struck out 17 batters and surrendered one run in eight innings to lift the Highlanders to a 7-3 win over Central Arizona on June 4 for McLennan's first national title since 1983.
Henderson went 10-2 and led the nation in strikeouts with 169. He allowed 50 hits and 23 walks in 97.2 innings.
The relentlessly competitive right-hander had an ERA of 1.66 and threw three complete games.
"Seeing that I won Pitcher of the Year really made me realize how incredible of a year, not only I had, but the entire team," Henderson said. "This was the icing on the cake after winning the national championship. Without my teammates and coaching staff, none of this would be possible."
Logan Henderson of @McLennanSports earns the 2021 #NJCAABaseball DI Pitcher of the Year, presented by the Marines 🏅… https://t.co/xjo5hGHyJS— NJCAA Baseball (@NJCAA Baseball)1624896368.0
Henderson played two varsity seasons at Cinco Ranch, primarily as a relief pitcher. He was 4-2 in 17 appearances with six starts and threw two no-hitters. In 44 total innings as a Cougar, Henderson, a first-team all-district selection his senior year, allowed 2o hits with 71 strikeouts to 16 walks. He surrendered just 11 earned runs.
Henderson refined his pitching under the guidance of McLennan pitching coach James Leverton and strength and conditioning coach Peter Stark. Command of his fastball and movement on his changeup improved. He put on more muscle to endure more innings.
"My prep leading up to starts changed a lot, as far as more time in the weight room and not throwing as much and just being mentally prepared," Henderson said. "Coach Leverton gave me the idea of treating my starts like I was coming out of the bullpen. I shortened up my throwing before starts so I'd have more energy. I learned to be aggressive from the first pitch. Those first outs are just as important as the last outs. Keeping that aggressive mentality worked out for me."
Henderson's performance in the championship game was his seventh consecutive outing of at least five innings pitched and 10 strikeouts.
"Logan not only wins games with stuff on the mound, but he wins games with the character that he possesses in his heart," McLennan coach Mitch Thompson told NJCAA.org. "He was literally into every pitch that our team played, whether it was his game to pitch or not. He was the first kid out of the dugout to congratulate a teammate after a great inning on the mound, a great defensive play, or following a big hit. He was also the first player to give a guy a pat on the back when things didn't go well."
Henderson will be in College Station this fall. He hopes to earn immediate playing time for new Aggies head coach Jim Schlossnagle and has been working on his nutrition this summer to build more muscle mass.