CLAREMORE — “Our pitching coach, Robert Brown, has been with me since we started the program and he does not get the recognition he deserves,” Bradley said. “I think a team is only as good as the players and staff and he has been a true key to our success. I really appreciated the job he has done for our program.”
“You are only as good as your pitching,” Bradley said. “If you want to win a championship you have to have quality pitching. Fortunately, we have a quality pitching staff. Looking back on last year, that was the difference in our ball club.”
Senior left-handed pitcher Shawn Spainhoward compiled an 11-2 record in 106 innings pitched with a 2.72 ERA for RSU last season. His 11 wins and 106 innings pitched were both RSU single-season records.
“Shawn Spainhoward carried most of the bulk inning wise on our pitching staff, starting most of the nine-inning games,” Bradley said. “We look for him to be the same guy he was last season, every time he goes to the mound we know we are going to get a quality start.”
Brandon Bargas, a south paw from Owasso, Okla, tallied seven wins with a single-season record 114 strikeouts. He tossed 95.1 innings but his most memorable appearance came in the second round of the NAIA World Series where he helped the Cats upset No. 1 LSU-Shreveport, striking out a RSU single-game record 18 hitters in the complete game performance.
“Brandon Bargas has the flash,” Bradley said. “He lights up the radar gun and is a strike out guy. His performance on the mound against LSUS at the World Series was the best I have ever seen and maybe the best I will ever see. Brandon is a competitor. Every time we go out we know those two lefties (Bargas/Spainhoward) are going to give us a chance to win.”