Former Madera High star pitcher James Brager has his career back on track. The freshman is the closer for the Fresno City Rams, who are 27-11 and in the midst of the NorCal Super Regionals where they were to face Central Valley Conference foe Merced on Friday night at Feather River Junior College.
While being a closer is a new role for him, it has resurrected his career. He just might have wrapped up the finest season of any reliever in the history of the Rams’ storied program if he picked up another save against Merced.
He already has tied the school record with nine saves, and should have quite a few more chances to break it if the Rams can move on in the state playoffs. He also has four wins and an impressive 2.66 ERA. In 40.2 innings, he has recorded 41 strikeouts while allowing just 18 walks. And opposing hitters are batting a paltry .196 against him.
Brager has always been a starting pitcher. As a four-year varsity player for Madera High, Brager was a freshman phenom in 2008. Former TriRiver Athletic Conference Player of the Year Haden Hinkle, who is now a junior pitcher for the University of San Francisco, was the ace...