Texas Christian second baseman Garrett Crain is a Mustang native and graduated from Edmond Santa Fe High School. Crain is hitting .343 for the Horned Frogs as a junior and had two RBIs in TCU’s win against West Virginia on Thursday. The Oklahoman caught up with Crain to talk about playing at home.
Q: What’s it like being back and playing so close to home, especially on a bigger stage?
A: “It’s prett-+y cool to see some familiar faces in the crowd. My parents are only a 20-minute drive away from here, so it’s kind of weird staying 20 minutes away from home in a hotel, but it’s really nice being back in Oklahoma City.
Do you take pride in being a guy who can represent baseball in this area?
“Yeah, I do. I feel like there’s a pretty good amount of talent that’s our age right now, and it’s pretty cool to be doing this right now baseball-wise.”
Did you ever come and watch this tournament growing up?
“Yeah, I did. I grew up around OU, OSU and watching Bedlam games. I grew up an OU fan, and the Big 12 Tournament is always a cool thing to come out to, especially as a kid and a baseball player. It’s the best baseball around, so it was always fun to be able to come out here, especially in this ballpark and this community.”
So what’s it like actually being here as one of the guys playing in it?
“It’s definitely different than just being in the crowd. It’s not necessarily nerve-wracking, but it kind of gives me more of a want-to-do-better, because I am playing at home basically, playing in front of people that I know and having people come out to see me.”
Being a guy who like so many players in this tournament took the junior college route, what’s the biggest benefit of that? (Crain played two years at Rose State College in Midwest City).
“Just playing time. Some guys out of high school aren’t going to get the playing time at a four-year school. I went to a junior college and got 400 or 500 at bats, and I think it helped a lot to get that amount of at bats to really solidify the thing I needed to get better at.”
So what’s the biggest difference between juco and D-I?
“The little things. The emphasis on the little things is so much more in D-I because the level of competition is so much higher. It’s those little things that stand out so much more.”