WACO, Texas Baylor baseball gets underway tonight and there isn't anything that can distract the Friday night battery of All-Americans Cody Bradford and Shea Langeliers from their main goal of helping Baylor get back to the College World Series for the first time since 2005.
"We definitely understand that we need to live in the moment right now and take it one game at a time," said Bradford. "But we don't look too far ahead."
People are getting on board the Baylor hype train with several publications ranking the bears inside the top 25 and naming Bradford and Langeliers All-Americans and potentially high draft picks in June's Major League Baseball draft.
"It's kind of cool to look at that stuff especially from a team aspect, we are kind of getting some recognition this year being in the top twenty-five," said Langeliers. "But it's like coach Rod said, it's cool that you have that stuff but you kind of have to push it aside. And we have our own expectations for ourselves and we need to live up to those before we live up to what other people think of us. So we just have to go out and play our own game this year."
Despite their humble attitudes, there is no denying the talent that this pitcher and catcher combo have and the chemistry they have gained on the field. You could see it last year after both were named all big 12, and Bradford was named the big 12 conference pitcher of the year.
"I'm like his hype guy on the field so it's a pretty special relationship," said Langeliers. "And last year I really don't know how to explain it. It was just an awesome run. Every time I was catching him it was like 'oh here we go again'. I was really excited about it every day."
"He knows what to go to. He knows my change-up is only going to break one way," said Bradford. "My curveball is only going to break a certain depth, my slider is only going to break one way. Shea, he's my guy."
Both players attribute a lot of their chemistry on the field to pitching coach Jon Strauss who has called the pitches for every game the two have played together at Baylor. With the combination of Bradford, Langeliers, and Strauss, along with the deepest team that Baylor has had in some time, the Bears should be in store for a very successful season.
“It’s fun to get Baylor back in the national spotlight,” said Strauss. "This shouldn’t be a one year, you’re hot and then you never see us again. We’ve been building pretty well. This is our first recruiting class we’ve had with Shea and Bradford and Kettler, and to see them go through it and get to their junior year, this is what we have been building for."