Shawnee hurler Brittain now gearing up for 2021 season
Bauer Brittain was primed for a solid sophomore season as a right-hander on the Shawnee Wolves' baseball squad.
Brittain fired a five-inning one-hitter while striking out 11 and giving up just one walk in Shawnee's 11-1 rout of host Tulsa Memorial in the second game of a doubleheader to open the season in early March.
The Wolves played just one more game before COVID-19 shut down the season after Shawnee had gotten off to a 3-0 start and outscored the opposition by a whopping 42-3 margin.
“I remember I had a lot of strikeouts,” said Brittain. “I was very disappointed (to not get to play the entire season). We had a lot of good pitching and we were off to a 3-0 start and on a roll. In my opinion, we had good team chemistry and I think we could have taken it to state.”
Brittain says he was playing catch with his dad Mike when Mike received a text from a friend about the cancellation of the season.
“I was heartbroken and didn't feel like playing catch anymore,” Brittain said.
It was a season of high promise for Brittain, who was named a National High School Baseball Coaches Association Preseason All-American, only one of 21 players from the state picked for the honor. He was also one of only five sophomores from the state on that list.
“It was really a good feeling and an honor, especially with it being a national thing and to be considered as one of the top players in Oklahoma,” said Brittain, who says he has a lot of motivation for next season. “Next year, I want to be better.”
Brittain, who has already verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma, was recognized by the Sooners after pitching in the PBR Junior Future Games in Alabama last summer.
“When it was my turn to pitch OU was there and I happened to hit 87 miles per hour,” Brittain said. “They liked my efficiency and attitude. They also liked my velocity and the way I worked. I think they liked my demeanor on the mound.”
Shawnee head coach Kevin Paxson says Brittain has a lot of tools and the work ethic to continue progressing at a rapid rate as he also plays second base for the Wolves.
“He is a fan of baseball. He studies the game. He wants to do everything possible to make his game better in all aspects,” said Paxson. “He has work ethic and is always wanting to take extra swings, extra ground balls and always wanting to throw extra pitches.”
Brittain's arsenal of pitches include a four-seam fastball, slider and change-up.
“I've been working on a curveball here and there,” said Brittain.
As far as being cool on the mound, Brittain attributes it his dad.
“Growing up my dad always told me to make it a one-on-one game (pitcher-batter) and to take it as a personal challenge,” Brittain said. “I want to take on a challenge to help my team.”
Paxson points to Brittain's competitiveness as a factor in his success.
“Bauer is a competitor. He always wants to compete on the mound and win,” Paxson said. “He will continue to develop the more experience he gains. He has command of all of his pitches...a sharp breaking ball, good change-up and good velocity on his fastball.”
Brittain is excited about joining the OU program in a couple of years and playing for head coach Skip Johnson.
“Skip Johnson and all the coaches are really cool. They were No. 9 in the country. In my opinion, Skip is one of the best pitching coaches in the nation,” said Brittain, who is a lifelong Sooner fan, attending baseball and football games. “Both of my sisters go to OU.”
But first things first for Brittain, who is excited on embarking on the 2021 season with the Wolves next year.
“We have some guys who are pretty solid and have potential. Rylin Janda will be a big help on the mound and at the plate,” Brittain said. “Coach Pax is a great coach. He helps build our confidence and I think we'll be ready to go next year.”