Now three years later, the senior center fielder is leaving the program better than he found it.
Lafayette completed the 2014 season with 16 wins and the top seed in Class 4, District 16.
Burgess is hoping he can aid his new college baseball team in a similar turnaround over the next four years.
He made his decision to join Northwest Missouri State as a preferred walk-on official Wednesday morning in front of friends and family at Lafayette.
The Bearcats haven't posted a .500 or better record in MIAA games in the last six years. Burgess says that played a role in his decision to join Northwest instead of rival Missouri Western.
"I put that into perspective on deciding what school. Missouri Western, they're expected to win. Northwest, they win a few games here and there, and I feel like I can make a difference up there."
During his senior year at Lafayette, Burgess posted team-highs with a .390 batting average, .500 on-base percentage and a .623 slugging percentage.
He's the second St. Joseph baseball player in the last week, along with Central's Nick Gutzmer, to join the Northwest baseball team.