Brody Baumann’s top highlights from his freshman season at College of the Ozarks were throwing a no-hitter in his first start and firing six scoreless innings of relief in his final appearance.
In between, the Ozark grad enjoyed plenty more success on his way to posting a 9-2 W-L record and 4.33 ERA.
Baumann was recruited to C of O as both a pitcher and third baseman. As things turned out, almost all of his focus turned toward pitching.
“It was a good year,” said Baumann, who struck out 62 and walked 18 over 75 innings. “Coming in as a two-way (player), it wasn't like I was hitting the ground running right off the bat. I was behind a great third baseman (.360 hitting senior Ryan Daggs, of Greenwood, Arkansas). There were a lot of learning opportunities at the hot corner.”
Baumann responded to his first starting assignment by no-hitting Bacone (Oklahoma) in February. He struck out eight and walked one.
“I got a few (appearances) in relief and did well and got my first chance to start and it was a great first start,” he said. “It showed I belonged. That helped me get in the rotation.”
The good vibes Baumann picked up in the C of O dugout during his no-no also led to him settling in comfortably in his new surroundings.
“It was fun to see the seniors and upperclassmen showing me support during my no-hitter,” he said. “I felt like I did what the team needed. Every time I pitched, the team was behind me and I got a lot of run support, which I was very thankful for.”
With C of O making it to the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association World Series, Baumann helped the Bobcats get to the semifinals with six innings of relief in a victory against Fort Lauderdale (Florida).
Baumann was proud to pitch so well under pressure.
“It was good to keep us in it. Holding them was big for us to get that win,” he said.
Baumann is pitching and playing third for the Route 66 Stars in the Show-Me Collegiate League this summer. He’s looking ahead to the rest of his C of O career with added enthusiasm, after it was announced this spring the Bobcats will return to the NAIA ranks effective the 2023-24 school year.
C of O, which bolted from the NAIA two years ago, will be part of the Sooner Athletic Conference for the first time.
Baumann reports the expected upgrade in competition is welcomed by the Bobcats and Lady 'Cats.
“That was kind of my expectation going down there, knowing that in a year or two at the most that we would be back to playing NAIA ball,” Baumann said. “Not that there wasn't good competition in the NCCCA, but I'm glad to be in the NAIA. I think every athlete at C of O is really excited and thankful that we're back to the NAIA.”