BANDON — A 33-hour road trip awaits Braydon Freitag. The Bandon High School senior pitcher is headed to University of Dubuque in the fall to play baseball.
Having been a three-sport varsity athlete for the last four years, Freitag always knew what sport he wanted to play at the next level.
“I was always going to do baseball. Ever since I was little,” he said.
For Bandon head baseball coach Jay Ferrell, he learned of Freitag’s decision two years ago.
“He told me after (his sophomore) season that he was going to play college baseball. He had made that decision. And I was like, I know you can, so we just need to figure out what we need to do and where you need to go,” recalled Ferrell.
Freitag had success since he entered high school. He was not only all-league each season but made it on the Class 2A-1A All-State team each year as well.
“When he came in as a freshman, very athletic kid. Already playing shortstop and No. 1 or 2 arm as a freshman and could play anywhere plus he could have been batting third or fourth since he started as a freshman as well. So the skill level has always been there,” Ferrell said.
In Freitag’s freshman season the Tigers made it to the playoffs while his sophomore year the team played in the state semifinals. Last year after finishing third in a top-heavy league, the team lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Ferrell was looking forward to seeing Freitag, who will be pitching at Dubuque, continue to grow this season.
“He’s always been good at slowing the game down, playing defense, slowing the game down at short or even pitching. I think he’s got a little better, which I was hoping we were going to see more of this year,” said Ferrell. “I was really hoping to see that this year to see how that was evolving as it was last year but again, everything is at a standstill.”
But before the current baseball season was put on hold, Freitag had been having conversations with coaches at Dubuque.
“About four, five months ago one of their assistant coaches reached out to me, telling me about the facilities and what not. Wanted me to come visit and it’s 33 hours from home, so a visit wasn’t very likely,” said Freitag. “He just told me about it and told me that they would like me to be a Spartan next year.”
After weighing his options and factoring in a desire to get out of Oregon for the time being, Dubuque, a city the size of Corvallis, was the place he wanted to be.
“They just told me that it’s really nice and that I would feel at home even though I’m 33 hours away. Said that the whole team is a very welcoming family. Coaching staff is awesome from what I’ve heard and I’ve talked to all of them,” said Freitag.
Now he is figuring out ways to continue to stay in shape as baseball becomes his only sport.
“Now it’s all-year, not just a season,” said Freitag. “Just going to workout I guess. Be going to the cages by myself. That helps to just stay in baseball shape.”