Big 12 Baseball Newcomer of the Year Brylie Ware has hit at every level of his collegiate career. As a freshman as Neosho County Community College, he was the first NJCAA Triple Crown winner since 1985 with a .589 batting average. Ware followed with a .298 average in his first season at the University of Oklahoma this past spring and is currently hitting .367 through 16 games with the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer wood-bat league.
In his first year in Norman, Ware started 54 of the Sooners' 59 games and was a mainstay in the middle of the OU lineup after a few short weeks into the season. He scored 34 runs and drove in 31 with 10 doubles and five home runs.
This summer, Ware is one of three Sooners in the Northwoods League. He is joined by OU catcher Brady Lindsly on the Woodchucks, while pitcher Lane Ramsey is a starter for the Eau Claire Express.
Ware is 22-for-60 at the plate with 10 RBI and eight runs. He has doubled twice, homered once and swiped three bases, while striking out just three times. Ware has successfully hit in 13 of 16 games played and recorded eight multi-hit games, including a summer-high three on one occasion and two hits in each of his last four games.
Q&A With Brylie Ware
Following a 2-for-5 performance in a 6-3 win to earn a series split against the Battle Creek Bombers on July 4 in Battle Creek, Mich., Ware took some time for a Q&A with SoonerSports.com while on the nearly seven-hour bus ride north back to Wausau, Wisc.
What's the travel in the Northwoods League like?
You're sore and stiff getting on the bus. I've noticed that I've tried to stretch more than ever before. I agreed to come up here because I know that if I want to make it to the next level, this is something that I've got to do. It's going to take a toll on your body no matter what, but this is good for me. I can tell that I'm getting better and getting in better shape.
How is the competition and adjustment to wood bats been this summer?
The competition is very good. It's rare that you see a guy that is throwing low 80s. Everybody has some type of off speed that can get you out. It has been a grind, but at the same time we're all getting better and you can see guys getting better on everything they need to work on. The goal with the wood bats is to try and barrel up everything that you can. I have the exact same approach I had in school ball; see the pitches I want to see and try to hit it hard.
Do you enjoy the summer ball experience?
I like the summer ball experience a lot. You've got a lot of guys coming in from different coaching backgrounds, who may know something that you hadn't and can share hints or tricks to help you fix something you've been working on. That's a lot of what this summer is; players helping players.
Where was your greatest growth as a player this year?
Probably the mental side of baseball and my approach and how I conduct myself on the field. I'm one of those guys that needs to stay relaxed. If I don't, then I can put too much pressure on myself. This is only the second year that I've been playing baseball every day. Coming to the field and doing those things every day, I can tell that my approach and my swing have gotten better. I'm in better shape and that's one of the things I've been working on so I can produce more.
What positions have you been playing in Wisconsin?
The first four days I was in the lineup, I was in right field. I've played that last six games at third and I've DH'd some. I hadn't played the outfield since I was eight. It took some getting used to, but I was fine with it.
Have you changed your walk-up song?
I stuck with the same one. I'm trying to find a new one for next year.
Ware used I Don't Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw as his walk-up song this past season as well as in 2016 at Neosho County Community College.