Jake Barrios didn't take the conventional route to college; rather his search for a team has been fairly nomadic over the last two years.
The former Weatherford standout spent two seasons at Seward Community College, played summer ball with the Liberal BeeJays of the Jayhawk League and flirted with the idea of playing for LSU.
When Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock met Barrios, he convinced him to transfer to Tech. In his first year, Barrios started 49 of 52 games, had 55 hits, 48 RBIs and three home runs.
In the Big 12 Tournament, the Red Raiders came up short against top-seeded Kansas State and were shut out by Oklahoma. Barrios sat down to reflect on the team's season and discuss what it was like playing against former high school teammate Dillon Overton of OU:
Q: Can you tell me how Dillon Overton's developed from high school to college and tell me what it's like playing against him?
A: “Me and him, we graduated together, you know, played my whole high school career against him. He was a great pitcher in high school; I mean he got drafted out of high school. And his stuff's just gotten so much better since he's been here at OU. It was fun getting to face him. He's a great pitcher, and I tip my cap to him. He threw well today; that change-up was working amazingly.”
What do you feel like his strengths are, and then what do you feel like his weaknesses are that you believe he's developed since the last time you've seen him?
“He's a first-round guy. He doesn't have very many weaknesses, you know? He threw all of his pitches for strikes today; three pitches and anytime you do that, you've got a good chance to win.”
What do you feel like you did well today, or what do you feel like you've done well this season?
“I just, you know, try to grind it out. Be solid there every day with defense and stuff like that. The bat's not always going to be there, obviously, but I just try to be a consistent player with the things the team needs me to do.”
What did you take away from (Friday's) game, and what can you say going into tomorrow's game?
“Well, OU, they're a great baseball team, you know. Take away from it? I just got to keep my head up and come out tomorrow and play for pride against Baylor.”
Moving onto next season, what do you think you can do differently to help improve your chances in the Big 12 Tournament next year?
“Well, our team's young, you know? We've got a lot of freshmen out there playing, and we've all got to become better payers all around. And with age I think that'll happen and we'll become closer as a team. So I think that'll help us also. I think that if we keep progressing, we'll be OK moving forward.
Playing in the Big 12, it's a big baseball conference, so do you feel like as a young team you're getting better by playing against better competition?
“Yeah, you could say that. We've all grown up somehow playing great competition in juco, or whatever it's been, high school. But it's a little different, you're right here in the Big 12. It's the best players around, and it's good to get these young guys against them. Even for myself, it's my first year in the Big 12, and it was good to go out there and get that experience. So coming back next year, I think we'll be in a better position to play and compete for things like the Big 12 Championship.”