Baylor's Bradford wins Big 12 pitcher of the year

Posted: 4:40 PM, May 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-22 21:40:13Z
Baylor's Bradford wins Big 12 pitcher of the year

Baylor baseball led the league for a second straight year with 14 All-Big 12 honors, including sophomore LHP Cody Bradford being named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. Also for the second straight year, BU placed a league-high 13 student-athletes on All-Big 12 teams.

Bradford is the first in program history to earn the pitcher of the year honor, which was established by the league in 2001 (Jason Jennings (1998-99) and Chad Hawkins (2000) were pitchers for BU that earned Big 12 Player of the Year). Bradford is the sixth underclassman (all sophomores) to win the award in the league’s history and the third straight.

The Aledo, Texas, native, who was also named to the All-Big 12 first team, has a career-high six wins (6-5) and career-best 2.60 ERA through 12 starts, allowing 26 runs (24 earned) on 73 hits and 24 walks with a career-high 75 strikeouts in a career-high 83 innings while holding hitters to a career-low .239 batting average.

He tied a career high with 10 strikeouts on May 11 vs. No. 20 Oklahoma State, giving him two 10-strikeout games this season (April 20 vs. TCU). The last season in which a player had two or more 10-strikeout games was 2010 (Shawn Tolleson (3), Logan Verrett (2)). He also tied career high nine innings pitched for the second straight game and second straight shutout on April 27 at Kansas State (April 20 vs. TCU) – Baylor’s first player in program history to throw back-to-back complete game shutouts. He’s the first BU player to pitch back-to-back complete games since Jason Jennings in 1999 (at Iowa State, May 14, 1999; vs. Missouri, May 19, 1999). His one-hitter on April 20 vs. TCU was BU’s first since Logan Verrett in 2011 (March 11 vs. Louisiana Tech).

Baylor also had sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers (first team), sophomore infielder Davis Wendzel (first team), junior designated hitter Richard Cunningham (second team), freshman infielder/outfielder Nick Loftin (second team, all-freshman team), senior closer Troy Montemayor (second team), sophomore infielder Andy Thomas (second team), freshman outfielder Davion Downey (all-freshman team) and freshman pitcher Tyler Thomas (all-freshman team) earn All-Big 12 honors.

Langeliers was a second-team and all-freshman choice in 2017. He has a career-high 16 doubles 44 runs and two triples to go with 46 hits, nine home runs and 37 RBI in 51 games. Wendzel was an all-freshman honoree in 2017 and has set career highs in average (.328), runs (36), hits (62), doubles (21), RBI (42), walks (36) and steals (4) while hitting seven homers in 51 games.

Cunningham was an honorable mention in 2017 and has career highs in average (.300), hits (64), homers (9), RBI (36) and steals (4) in 48 games. Loftin gives Baylor its second straight year with a freshman on the second team (Langeliers) as he has a .311 average with 43 runs, 59 hits, eight doubles, five homers, 30 RBI, 18 walks and five steals in 48 games. Montemayor was a first team selection the last two seasons. He has 11 saves with a 1-1 record and 2.42 ERA in 21 appearances with 23 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. Andy Thomas is hitting .347 with 32 runs, 66 hits, 10 doubles, one homer, 31 RBI, 35 walks and three steals in 51 games.

Downey is hitting .276 with 24 runs, 43 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, two homers, 29 RBI, 25 walks and one steal in 48 games. Tyler Thomas is 3-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 14 appearances and 12 starts, allowing 18 runs (13 earned) on 31 hits and 47 walks with 51 strikeouts in 48.1 innings.

The Bears’ 10 all-league members, combined with last year’s 11, mark the first time in program history that BU has had 10 or more honorees in consecutive seasons. Baylor’s three all-freshman choices are its most since 2012, tying a program high, and marking the first time with multiple rookie selections in back-to-back years. Baylor has had at least two all-league players in all 22 seasons of the league’s existence and 10 or more honorees for the fourth time (2003 (10), 2012 (11), 2017 (11)). BU has had at least one freshman honored in five of the last seven seasons.

No. 5 seed Baylor faces No. 4 seed Oklahoma at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday to begin the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.