SALADO — Despite his 6-foot-7 height, there wasn’t much imposing about Reagan Bazar last season.
Nursing tendinitis in his right shoulder throughout the year, the junior right-hander only saw 30 innings from the mound for Salado.
But over the summer, after some intense physical therapy, Bazar commanded attention when he topped 90 mph on the radar gun in front of dozens of scouts at the Area Code tryouts in June in Houston.
“I was pitching and all the scouts were up in the stands, and they had tons of radar guns, and after I pitched (the ball) I heard ‘90’ and I was like, ‘Aw, man, this is great,’” Bazar said. “And then I walked off the mound and that was it.”
Seeing the scouts’ eyes widen, Bazar knew he’d accomplished something big. It wasn’t long before his phone started ringing with colleges eager for his services.
Wednesday, the first day of baseball’s early signing period, the 220-pound senior Eagles hurler put pen to paper and signed a letter of intent to pitch at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette during a small ceremony in the Salado library.
“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball and I’ve always wanted to move myself up to the next level of baseball, and when I hit 90 it clicked that I have the opportunity to do something really good,” Bazar said.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were one of the first programs to call him, Bazar said, and it only took one visit to Lafayette that he knew it was where he wanted to play ball.
“When I took my visit, I fell in love with the school, the city, the food, the women ... (laughs) nah, but it’s a gorgeous town with a rich history and to play there will be an honor,” Bazar said.
Throwing mid-80s before the injury to his shoulder, Bazar was Salado’s top pitcher entering last season but only played sparingly on the mound as sophomores Casey Frazier and Britton Hawes emerged as the Eagles’ aces.
With Bazar healthy and his 90 mph fastball joining four returning junior starters, including Frazier and Hawes, the 2A Eagles (29-13) have high expectations for the upcoming season.
“Our team is going to be really good and the team’s goal is to win state and hopefully I can have a part in that and play a big role,” Bazar said.
Bazar is Salado’s first Division I signee since golfer Ryan O’Rear signed with Baylor in 2009 and the baseball program’s first since Chris Frazier, the uncle of Casey Frazier, signed with TCU in 1996.
“I feel that there haven’t been a lot of people that have (gone Division I) out of Salado and to be one of those guys it feels great,” Bazar said.