Rodden brings aggressive approach at the plate for Shocker offense

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Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

Sophomore Brock Rodden runs from second base to third base on March 27 during the game against Creighton.

It isn’t often that players are able to make a seamless transition to Division-I baseball but Brock Rodden is a different story. The Shocker coaching staff believed in his offensive capabilities after two seasons at Seminole State College, enough to take a chance on the sophomore second baseman. He hasn’t looked back since. 

Despite a midseason slump, Rodden is hitting .275 and has launched seven home runs this season, along with 22 RBI’s, which are both second best on the team. His .926 on-base plus slugging percentage is also second highest of any Shocker hitter, only trailing Chuck Ingram.

Alongside his offensive production, Head Coach Eric Wedge said he has enjoyed Rodden’s hustle and toughness, which have remained consistent during his short time as a Shocker.

“I love the way he plays the game,” Wedge said. “He’s in the dirt with every pitch, whether it be at home plate or in the field. He’s hard-nosed. He epitomizes what Shockers are.”

Rodden has followed up two impressive seasons at Seminole State, hitting .353 or higher in both seasons. He also launched a combined 16 home runs, across 72 games, but his on the field success wasn’t his biggest takeaway from his short stay at the junior college level.

The Oktaha, Oklahoma native said the grind mentally and being able to battle through it has made him stronger and more prepared as he starts his career at WSU.

“The one thing I learned at Seminole is mental toughness,” Rodden said. “That’s pretty much every juco that you’ll find. Mental toughness is everything there. They beat you down basically to where you’re nothing and all you have left is your mind. They tear you down physically and see what you have left in the tank up top.”

The Shocker offense has been focused on bringing a more aggressive approach to the plate, with Rodden leading the charge. Rodden has consistently put the ball in play this season, only striking out in 28 of his 31 at-bats.

“I just try to think driving the baseball, hit line drives that have good enough launch angles to get over outfielder heads to get a base hit but not high enough to get hung up,” Rodden said.

The Shockers have hit a rough patch this season, dropping six of their last seven games, including a 2-4 record to start conference play. Rodden and the rest of his teammates remain confident in their talent and ability to get back on track to end the season.

“We’ve got some dogs for sure,” Rodden said. “We’re finding out now more than ever who the dogs are and who we’re going to have to ride with for the rest of the year.”