By Kyle Roberts
Lane Burroughs and the Louisiana Tech baseball program hit pay-dirt in the transfer portal.
Kasten Furr, a former Ruston High School standout and four-year letterwinner at the University of New Orleans (UNO), has verbally committed to play his fifth and final season for his hometown team.
According to Kasten, he committed to Burroughs and the Bulldogs Thursday afternoon.
After entering the transfer portal earlier in the week, Kasten said he drew interest from a number of teams around the country, fielding calls from Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Miami, Nebraska, Southern Miss, Memphis, Tulane, and South Alabama just to name a few.
“It took me by surprise,” said Kasten about the interest during a phone interview Friday afternoon. “I knew I would get some, but I didn’t know the caliber of schools.”
He ultimately chose to be a Bulldog.
“I felt it was the best fit for me to finish out my career and come home where my family can see me play,” said Kasten. “A lot of my family hasn’t seen me play the last four years so I think it’s a great opportunity for them and for me as well.
“Coach Burroughs said I was the type of player he wants and that the program needs. He said they need a mature older guy like me, and he thinks I can help to make them better.”
Kasten will join his younger sister, Allie, who will be a true freshman on the Lady Techster softball program this fall.
“I think it will be cool,” said Kasten. “It will be different seeing her around campus. I will get to see her play, which I haven’t gotten a chance to do because I have been so busy playing. So I can see her play and live out her dream. It will be awesome.”
Kasten is considered one of the top defensive shortstops in college baseball — and has the offensive game to complement it.
The son of Chip and Heather Furr, Kasten is a two-time all-Southland Conference shortstop who hit .296 for the Privateers over the past four seasons, collecting 205 hits, including 27 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs. He totaled 183 runs and 74 RBI while registering 20 steals.
He led the Southland Conference in runs this year with 66 and ranked second last season with 64. He also ranked Top 20 in the Southland this year in walks (35), hits (64) and stolen bases (9).
This past season saw Kasten rank among the nation’s best defensively at the shortstop position. While starting all 60 games for UNO, he committed just one error in 255 attempts for an eye-popping .996 fielding percentage. He recorded 99 putouts and 155 assists.
His 155 assists ranked 4th in the SLC, and he was a part of 43 double plays which ranked third in the league. Kasten’s .996 fielding percentage ranked best out of any player who had 50 or more assists and was the best among every-day starting shortstops in the entire country.
Kasten started 168 of the past 170 games for the Privateers over the last three years.
He was a four-time all-district and two-time all-state selection at Ruston High.
Kasten is currently playing for the Wilmar Stingers in the Northwood League while taking three online summer classes in order to finish his degree in business from UNO.