Owasso pitcher Braden Webb commits to South Carolina
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
9/12/12 at 3:19 PM
CORRECTION: A story on page B3 of the Sept. 12 Sports section on Owasso pitcher Braden Webb incorrectly said he has taken official recruiting visits. Webb has yet to take an official recruiting visit. This story has been corrected.
Owasso right-handed pitcher Braden Webb capped a meteoric rise as a national baseball prospect by committing to play at the University of South Carolina, one of the premier college programs in the land.
The Gamecocks just missed winning a third straight College World Series title, finishing runner-up to Arizona in 2012.
"I just fell in love with the program when I was around 10 years old," Webb said. "I love the way (former South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner) made the players hustle on and off the field. I admire the hustle. It reminds me of our program."
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior made a handful of starts for the Rams as a sophomore, going 2-1 with 18 strikeouts in 18 innings. He grew over the summer and exploded onto the national scene with stellar performances in showcase tournaments and all-star games.
"He's really taken it to the next level," Owasso head coach Larry Turner said. "He's gotten bigger and he's really matured, not only physically but also in the way he conducts himself on the mound. All of the recruiting services have moved him up on their watch lists really high."
PerfectGame.com has Webb rated as a 9.5 prospect on a "10" scale, meaning a potential high-round draft pick. That brings to mind another recent Rams hurler - Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft.
How does Webb compare?
"Dylan was the best I've ever been around, period," Turner said. "(Webb's) been around Dylan a lot, growing up, and he's gotten pointers from Dylan and seen what it takes and some of the rewards of working hard. If (Webb) got up there to be mentioned in the same breath (with Bundy), that would be incredible."
Webb spent the summer traveling with the DBAT Mustangs and played in a tournament for the Evoshield Canes, an elite showcase team from Virginia.
At the 2012 Perfect Game Underclass National Games in San Diego, he struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced without allowing a hit in a three-inning stint.
For Evoshield at the Class of 2014 Wood Bat Association Championships in East Cobb, Ga., he threw a seven-inning, one-hit, one-run game and was named to the all-tournament team.
Webb throws a two-seam fastball that runs in on right-handed batters, along with a curveball and three kinds of changeups. He throws a "steady 89-91 fastball," according to PerfectGame.com, and topped out at 94 mph over the summer.
Webb holds 13 scholarship offers, including ones from LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and Arizona.
Original Print Headline: Webb picks South Carolina
Mike Brown 918-581-8390
Owasso's Braden Webb, shown pitching against Bishop Kelley in the Nike Pro Nine Classic tournament last April in Owasso, has committed to play at South Carolina. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file