Aug 12, 2014 1:39 AM by Richie Melby (email@example.com)
Sunday we brought you part one in a two-part series with former Bat Cat pitcher James Farris. The right-hander is now on the roster for the Boise Hawks of minor league baseball, but we had the chance to talk with him about the UofA 2012 National Championship and hearing his name in the MLB draft.
"2012 was a big year for me," Farris recalled. "The year before I threw one inning so I had to work hard to earn a spot. Luckily I got the Sunday spot, coach Lopez gave me the opportunity and I kept it."
But when the Wildcats reached the College World Series and a national championship was within reach, Farris, then a sophomore, was skipped twice in the rotation.
"I was wondering if I was going to get to pitch," he admitted. "Then the night before the game I found out I was pitching and coach Lopez found out too. He asked the older guys and they said 'give Farris a shot' pretty much."
We know the result. Farris pitched 7 2/3 innings against South Carolina, hurling four strikeouts to help clinch the NCAA title. That moment was easily the greatest in Farris' young career.
"Yeah, by far. By far, definitely," he said. "I was going against a Friday (rotation) guy and normally you don't see a Friday versus Sunday match-up.
"I hadn't pitched in 22 days so being the guy they asked to be on the mound and throw was an honor, definitely."
Farris has gone from champion to graduate to MLB draft pick. Chalk up another accolade in an ever-growing list.
"Honestly, I was so excited I didn't really think about anything. I was just full of excitement," he said.
"Being drafted is a huge honor and I'm just glad the MLB looks at me the way they did last year."