Chicks dig the fastball, and Reagan Bazar has one of the best. Pitchers can’t be a one-trick pony though, so he’s been working to diversify his game.

Having a ferocious heater helps on the mound, but if you can’t keep it over the plate, nothing else matters. After pitching 31 innings as a freshman, his time on the mound was dialed back all the way to 13 innings as a sophomore. Questions arose from the fan base about his usage and what could possibly be wrong with his game, but Head Coach Tony Robichaux wasn’t giving up on his big arm.

Taking such a decrease in usage personally could poison the pot. Trust is important in a program, and Bazar took the changes like a grown man.

“I would have liked to have done better, but I understand why I didn’t throw as much,” Bazar said. “I completely trust Coach Robe, and I’m not worried about it. It didn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth. I know what I needed to do, and that was to get better.”

Instead of pouting, Bazar went to work. Every coach and staff on the player raved about his offseason and how much he improved, which should make Cajun fans start to salivate.

With a fastball that touches 100 mph, all he needs to do is tweak his game a bit to make things work. An effective breaking ball and a little bit of restraint would go a long way.

“I’ve been working on the changeup, that’s coming along really, really good, and I’ve worked to get my curveball a little better, have more bite,” Bazar said…and wait, there’s more, “My focus has been on throwing strikes, being more consistent around the zone. I did have a good fall, and I’m looking to translate it into the spring.”

The addition of Hogan Harris and Nick Lee to last year’s standout recruiting class creates a competitive environment in the bullpen, and Bazar’s status as an upperclassman carries weight on this young pitching staff. We know preseason All-American Dylan Moore is going to close out the games, but he needs a set-up artist to tee things up for the save.

Will Bacon and Chris Charpentier can fill major holes in the middle of games, and both players could even start in the midweek if needed. Bazar has the ability to go deep into games as well, but wouldn’t you rather see him just go out and throw gas?

Picture this: the Cajuns have a one run lead in the seventh inning, but they need to get Dylan Moore on the back end. Out comes the towering presence of Reagan Bazar to scare the opponent with his massive frame and smoking fastball. It all makes sense…

“I kind of see myself more toward the back end again,” Bazar said. “Intimidating somebody else is really fun, I really enjoy doing that.”

Bazar said he will play whatever role Robe asks of him, as long as it helps the team win games. He might have been a starter in high school, but he is a born intimidator out of the bullpen.

The Cajuns reached a Super Regional in both of Bazar’s years on campus. He understands what it’s like to play in a postseason game, but he hasn’t touched the most legendary location in all of college baseball yet. Some teams and players don’t dare to speak the word out of superstition, but Bazar isn’t scared to name the one dream destination on his mind for this year.

“Omaha, that’s the goal right now,” Bazar said with confidence. “I know everybody on this team wants to get there, I know Coach Robe wants to get there, and that’s been our goal since day one that we started.”

It takes more than just a few good starters to make it to Omaha. You need solid production in the midweek. You need middle relievers to put bandages on open wounds in unexpected battles. Closers are relied upon to seal the deal, but they need set up artists to get them there. Aces lead the way, but bullpens win championships.

Bazar is a bull on the mound. Now he gets to charge downhill with his horns out, waiting for an opponent to make the mistake of stepping in front of him.