By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
A pair of Bixby standouts will be taking their baseball careers to some perennial powerhouses.
Centerfielder Jaxson Crull and pitcher Braden Harris signed with Oklahoma State and Wichita State, respectively, on Nov. 13.
Crull knew since childhood that he would take to the diamond at Oklahoma State. He even took action at one time to make the push.
“I was pretty much born an OSU Cowboy (his parents are OSU graduates),” Crull said. “It has been my dream school growing up. In the seventh grade, I wrote on a piece of paper to play outfield for Oklahoma State University and I taped it on my door, so everyday I’d see it, and that became my goal.”
And he thrived on that goal, becoming a force for Bixby baseball by the time he was in high school.
Now the dream has come to manifestation.
Crull, who will be starting his fourth year for the Spartans next spring, said he had interests in other schools, but none were able to win him over. He had chosen Oklahoma State from the start. “It was pretty much a no-brainer,” he said. “I committed on the spot.”
Crull believes his biggest tool is his speed and that’s what coaches saw in him.
“I’m one of the fastest runners, so I use that to my advantage and to style my game around that,” Crull said. “I can bunt for a base hit and I can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. But I also have a little bit of sneaky power, so, I can pop one over every now and then, but I would say my speed is my biggest asset.”
Crull hopes to put on a few pounds and gain some muscle before he leaves for Stillwater next year.
“I want to hit the weight room hard,” he said. “I want to help the defense out, I want to steal a lot of bases and be a guy that we can rely on, that can bunt in any situation, have a contact hit and just hit line drives whenever I need it.”
Johnson, a left-handed-pitcher who has started for the Spartans since his sophomore campaign, saw Wichita State as his best opportunity.
“They put on the table that I have a really good chance of starting my freshman year and getting playing time and helping the team out,” he said. “That’s really what I was looking for, to help the team going in my freshman year.”
Harris chose Wichita State over Missouri State, Washburn and others.
His potential is what he believes attracted the attention of Shocker coaches.
“I’m just so undeveloped right now,” Harris said. “But I’m still at a high level that they can project me to be an even better version of what I am right now.”
Harris is hopeful to be starting on the mound for the Kansas school as well as “toning up some mechanics and getting into the mid-90s for my fastball,” he said.