Freeman returns from injury to provide boost to Baylor baseball

Courtesy of Baylor Athletics.

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer

With all the adversity that Baylor baseball has had to deal with early in the year in terms of injuries, it’s always nice to see guys leave the casts and crutches behind and get the chance to play. After a couple of months of having to roll into Baylor Ballpark in a scooter because of a broken foot, junior pitcher Logan Freeman finally got to run out to the mound and show off his stuff last Sunday afternoon in the rubber match against Oklahoma.

For the Buffalo, Texas native it was an opportunity to get back to what he enjoys.

“Coming off an injury is always tough. I’ve tried to do everything I can to put myself in the best position to help this team out, whatever role that may be,” Freeman said “I was a little timid at first, just being back out there. You know, it’s a whole new level. I don’t know, I enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot.”

Freeman retired the side in the top of the sixth on Sunday afternoon and then finished his outing with a ground out and a pop up in the seventh, allowing only one hit. He was the first of four relievers to hold the Sooners scoreless in the walk-off win that day. He returned on Tuesday night to close things out against Sam Houston State, allowing only two hits and a run but striking out five batters.

Head coach Steve Rodriguez was happy to get the junior out there, noting that even though he didn’t want to put him in a tied game situation for his first Division I appearance, it was uplifting for the team.

“He’s one of those kids you want to do well because he came in, he was pitching really well right before his injury and then you just felt for him because, man he was really starting to get it,” Rodriguez said. “And then he comes back and his arm has been in amazing shape. I’m really proud of all of the work he’s done to kind of get himself in a pretty good position to help us.”

One of three junior transfers to join the Bears roster last fall, Freeman didn’t have to go very far, having spent the last two years with the Highlanders at McLennan Community College across town. He had 14 appearance as a sophomore with MCC, 11 of them starts, and posted a 3-1 record with 54 strikeouts in 47.1 innings. In 2017, as a freshman, Freeman helped the Highlanders in their conference and regional title wins and their run in the JUCO World Series.

According to Freeman, taking on more of a bullpen role for the Bears has been a little bit different than being a starter since relievers don’t have to preserve themselves for longer outings. His job for the time being is to “gas it up” and get guys out as fast as possible. And to do whatever it takes to help his team win.

Depending on how the needs of the team look down the stretch, Rodriguez has some big long-term expectations for the righty.

“Three kids, a wife, maybe?” Rodriguez joked. “Actually, I may have at some point. We want him to continue to build up – if we can utilize his ability to pitch, come in and help our bullpen, that’s great. If he can start getting extended a little bit and maybe pushing the ability to possibly start, that would be nice, too. But I think it’s really going to depend on where our needs are, in that moment.”

Freeman has felt pretty comfortable coming to Baylor, especially after spending his first two years of college across town at MCC.

“I fit in great. I feel like I fit in great. The guys welcomed me in quickly and some of these guys will be lifelong friends of mine,” Freeman said. “You know being in Waco originally the two years prior to this has obviously made me more comfortable here. So, I feel at home. I feel at home here and I love it.”