GoHuskies.com unveils a new weekly feature that will promote the University's student-athletes who continue to shine both in and out of the classroom. Below is an interview with UW Baseball's sophomore center fielder, Braden Bishop.
GoHuskies.com: How many different people have you heard from since the highlight of your carch vs. USC was No. 1 on SportsCenter’s top-10 plays?
Braden Bishop: Hundreds. It’s been pretty cool. One of my friends texted me and he said, “that’s every kid’s dream” and I started thinking about it and my whole childhood, top-10, Duh-da-duh. Duh-da-duh. So it was pretty cool.
GoHuskies.com: Is that as far as you’ve ever had to run to make a catch?
Bishop: I was actually thinking about that. That was probably the furthest run I’ve ever had to go to catch the ball. I don’t know how I timed it or how it even happened. I don’t even really remember it. It was kind of natural. I felt the track and it was kind of all in unison: stride, then jump and luckily I just got up and caught the ball.
GoHuskies.com: Who is the most bizarre person you have heard from since you made the catch?
Bishop: I actually had somebody that I went to second grade with get ahold of me. I didn’t have their number and they were texting me like I had their number and that I knew exactly who they were, and then they called me. I still didn’t know who it was so I didn’t answer. They were like “come on, answer my call” and I was “I’m sorry, I don’t know who this is!” It was somebody I went to second grade with so it was pretty cool.
GoHuskies.com: How different is the mentality of this team now compared to in February when the team went 1-3 in Surprise, Arizona?
Bishop: We played some amazing teams down there, great talent, great pitching, and also in front of a lot of scouts, and some of our guys are in draft year, so that can built up a lot of nerves. It was early on, we were still learning to play together, and still trying to find our roles individually. I think it was important for us because we saw if we wanted to be an elite team, we were going to have to learn how to beat an elite team. We saw if we wanted to be elite that’s what we would have to do and I think we learned from it. And even though we didn’t have a winning record, just the learning experience and seeing where we are going to have to get to, that was important for us
GoHuskies.com: How has being picked to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the Pac-12 motivated this team?
Bishop: I think any time somebody ranks you 10/11 that’s always going to provide a little chip. We know the guys we got and the trust we have in each other, so we took it as a grain of salt and said alright “we’re going to show them,” and we may not have the most talented group, and the biggest names, but you can put us on the field with the biggest names and were going to play just as hard if not harder I can guarantee that.
GoHuskies.com: You guys have won 19 of 21 games, you act like you aren’t paying attention to that.
Bishop: Well in baseball you know you play so many games sometimes you can just get lost in whatever number game you’re playing, but obviously we know we’re playing really well and we’re just trying to take it one pitch, one game at a time and that’s the most important thing for us.
GoHuskies.com: What is having a brand new facility done for you guys?
Bishop: Playing one year in the old ballpark and then coming to the new one is just a blessing for all of us because it’s every kids dream to play in a stadium, makes you feel like a professional. I think it’s something pretty amazing for us to come and practice and get to play here every day. It is an honor to be able to wear huskies across your chest and come into a ballpark that could be a minor league ballpark. For us, it is humbling and definitely an honor
GoHuskies.com: Some of your teammates said it actually has translated onto the field?
Bishop: I would agree with that, I kind of compare it to LSU, even though we are very different programs, you just see their facility, and it’s kind of intimidating- this is where they get to play, this is where they get to practice, their fans support them here, and so I think we kind of adopted that a little bit. We know other teams come onto our field and think “wow,” and they know they have to play hard in this stadium. They kind of feel pressure before they step on the field just from the stadium.
GoHuskies.com: What do you think is realistic for this team this year?
Bishop: I think the opportunities we have are unbelievable. I think jumping all the way to the end right now is tough right now. Of course we want to win the College World Series and make it to Omaha. I think the opportunity we had this past weekend against Oregon is like a stepping stone for us. We’re just worried about the next game night right now.
GoHuskies.com: Did you know it was in your glove or did you have to see it?
Bishop: No I knew, I just felt it. It just went right in the pocket. It was pretty nice. I think [the right fielder] was a little shocked. He was like “that’s going to be on Sports Center.”