OMAHA, Neb. — Brady Singer’s road to pitching the first game of the College World Series Championship Series started last Friday.
After throwing seven scoreless against Louisville to pick up his eighth win of the season on Tuesday the sophomore from Eustis doesn’t do much on Wednesday. He’ll throw and run, these days pitcher’s run as much if not more than they actually throw. He throws lightly on Thursday but Friday is when the real work begins.
“I threw a full bullpen on Friday off the mound. I’ll lightly toss Saturday,” Singer told Gator Country when asked what his normal routine is. “On Sunday I’ll lightly toss, probably through flat ground, make sure the pitches are working. Honestly it’s just the mental mindset.”
Singer is the first Gator out of the dugout Friday before the game. All of Florida’s hitters are still in the third base tunnel; taking cuts in the cages underneath TD Ameritrade Park, including Mark Kolozsvary.
Singer sits down on bottom of the wooden benches in the dugout to change from his turf shoes to cleats. He’s in shorts and a t-shirt, but he’s about to get back into his routine, one that has allowed him to throw 119 innings this season. He averaged 6.2 innings per start this season, leading all Florida’s starters.
He trots down the left field line on his own. He has a predetermined routine of stretching, sprints and jogging to get through before Kolozsvary needs to meet him in the bullpen. Strength and condition coordinator Paul Chandler will stretch Singer out in the bullpen as Kolozsvary puts his gear on in the dugout. Singer is ready and already standing on top of the mound and Kevin O’Sullivan watched closely, his back against the wall behind Singer.
The bullpen goes well. Singer comes back to the dugout and I ask him what he does the rest of the day. His bullpen is over, Florida’s two hours away from a game and he’s not throwing.
“Just east some dugout snacks and enjoy the game,” he says.
Singer made the trip to Omaha as a freshman but wasn’t one of the six pitchers O’Sullivan called upon during Florida’s 0-2 run. Getting a chance to make a difference pitching against Louisville meant everything to him but he needed help. TD Ameritrade is a big park with a lot of eyes transfixed on the mound. Singer felt that and felt his heart rate pick up.
“(Faedo) taught me how to pitch in a big ballpark, how to slow your heart rate down and pretty much, like he said Sunday night, just execute what Sully calls,” Singer said after his start against Louisville. “Sully does his homework. If you execute what he calls, you’ll have a pretty good game.”
Singer enjoyed dugout snacks Friday and Saturday. It was back to throwing flat ground from 60 feet six inches on Sunday, starting to dial back in for a LSU lineup that has been red hot in Omaha.
He’ll be back on the big mound Monday night. Florida is two wins away from bringing home their first national championship and Singer is relishing the opportunity to get them one win closer.