The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team improved on Thursday without playing a game.
Recent Salado graduate Casey Frazier committed to pitching for the Crusaders.
“UMHB definitely improved itself by getting Casey,” said Salado head coach Chad Krempin. “There were some bigger schools that wanted Casey. But I think, ultimately, Casey figured that what he wants to accomplish in baseball he can do right here at UMHB. I’m thrilled for him. UMHB didn’t miss the boat on this kid, and good for them.”
In 2014, Frazier was 11-2. He struck out 130 batters and yielded only 10 walks. His ERA was an incredible 0.74.
“What’s quite interesting to me is something I’ve watched in the College World Series,” Krempin said. “Texas has Chad Hollingsworth and he’s doing a fine job for them and he’s clocked at 84-85 mph. Well, Casey can throw that fast all day long.”
Frazier’s go-to pitch is his fastball which, when clocked, consistently hits the 85 mph mark. He’s got a wicked curve which befuddles batters. His third pitch, a changeup, often has batters shaking their heads on their long, slow walk back to the dugout.
“Casey is a complete pitcher,” Krempin said.
Frazier said several factors led to his final decision regarding college.
“First, UMHB is a great school with a great campus,” Frazier said. “Also, the baseball facilities at UMHB are excellent and the program is on the rise. Plus, I talked a lot with the UMHB coaches a few months ago and I was so impressed with their staff. I think it will be a good fit for me.”
After leading Salado to a deep playoff run for the second consecutive season, Frazier is enjoying some time off.
“I’m taking a little break now,” he said. “But I’ll continue running, do a little lifting. I’ll want to know what the UMHB coaches want me to do this summer. Whatever their offseason plan is, I will follow it completely.”
At UMHB, Frazier will again be teammates with catcher Cole Haag and infielder Jon Franz. Haag has been Salado’s starting catcher the past three seasons. Both Frazier and Haag earned all-state honors in 2014. Franz, also a high school all-state honoree, graduated from Salado in 2013.
“We’ll have three all-state kids of ours at UMHB next year and I think all three will be successful,” Krempin said.
Frazier said he’s thrilled that he’ll continue to be teammates with Haag and be reunited with Franz.
“It did have some influence on me choosing UMHB,” Frazier said. “I am really looking forward to remaining teammates with Cole and getting to play with Jon once again.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Frazier said he’s also looking forward to the challenge of playing collegiately.
“As an incoming freshman, playing time is not guaranteed,” he said. “I know I’ll have to fight hard to earn playing time.”
Krempin said, “I won’t be surprised at all if Casey has a great career at UMHB — and then goes on and gets a chance to pitch at the next level.”