NORMAN — Forgive Josh Sawyer if he’s struggling to get his story entirely straight. Given the circumstances, you would, too.
Who’s Josh Sawyer?
He’s the guy who pitched Team Texas past Team Oklahoma Friday night at Norman North in the annual Heartland Baseball Classic showcase between the Red River rivals.
Texas won 6-3, Sawyer went the distance, even appearing to get the final out four different times. He didn’t really have his best stuff, striking out three, walking two and allowing nine hits, and still he offered some moments of real brilliance.
Sawyer began the game by limiting the damage to a single run despite allowing two hits in each of the first three innings. He closed the game by enduring two seventh-inning errors by his defense (and a blown call that went against him at third base), each allowing a run to cross, before getting Isaac Hollihan to pop out to end it.
In between, he was dominant, retiring eight straight and 12 of 13 Oklahoma batters before Austin Feathers unloaded a seventh-inning double.
His fastball was clocking in between 86 and 88 miles per hour, and that was part of him not having his best stuff, because he’s been clocked as high as 93.
About that story.
Sawyer described himself as being an early commitment to Villanova, but said that he had recommitted because “my brother has an arm injury and I decided I wanted to stay close to him while he goes through this pain,” he said. “I want to help him through this, so I decided to recommit and stay somewhere close in Texas.”
His brother, Matt, will be a senior in high school next year and is coming to terms with saying goodbye to baseball. That’s the thing Sawyer wants to help him get through.