Towering right-handed pitcher Will Langford has established himself as the ace of the Fort McMurray Giants rotation this season.
Through eight appearances – seven of them starts – Langford is the team leader in strikeouts (36), innings pitched (42.1) and ERA (1.91).
The 6-foot-5 hurler also sports a 3-1 record and is helping the Giants make a push for their first ever playoff appearance in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL).
In addition, the product of Cobourg, Ontario – who just wrapped up his senior year at Queen’s University – was named to the WCBL’s 2019 All Star roster for the Western Division team. We caught up with Langford at those festivities in Edmonton and posed him seven questions as part of our ongoing 7th Inning Stretch series. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Congratulations on being named a WCBL All Star. Where were you when you found out you were selected, and what does it mean to you?
Thank you. It means a lot, obviously. It is pretty cool. It was one of my goals coming into the season. I thought it was pretty lofty, to be honest with you, but I got off to a good start and I’m happy to be here, for sure.
When I found out, my parents were in Fort Mac for a few days and we were just sitting in their fifth-wheel trailer and I got a phone call from (pitching coach Michael Gahan).
2. How does someone from Ontario end up playing in the WCBL with the Fort McMurray Giants?
I went to Queen’s University and played baseball there and (Fort McMurray recruiting coordinator Andrew Bradbury) sent me a message, over Twitter actually. He was looking at a guy that goes to Brock University and he’d asked him if there were any pitchers in the league that could compete up here and that kid gave him my name, I guess, so he sent me a message and said, ‘Do you want to come out here and play?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and that’s basically the end of the story.
3. What was it like to be the first player to throw a no-hitter in Queen’s University history?
It was awesome. It’s a bit of a blur now when I look back on it, but mostly I remember our fifth or sixth inning, probably, when I knew that I still had a no-hitter going and I looked at my teammate and I was like, ‘It would be nice if we could get a couple more runs here,’ because we were only up 1-0, and we ended up winning 1-0.
I remember striking out the last two guys of the game and everyone running out on the field.
4. How do you approach this season? Do you have any specific benchmarks you want to achieve this summer?
Honestly, I came out here just thinking about one last summer and just trying to get as good as I possibly can, taking advantage of the opportunity and the coaches and the facilities out here.
Obviously, it would be awesome to get picked up by a professional organization. That’s most guys’ goals when they play summer ball, so that’d be amazing. But, yeah, I just want to see how good I can get this summer.
5. What’s your favourite baseball movie?
My favourite baseball movie is Moneyball … The Rookie is up there, too. That’s my favourite childhood movie. I probably watched that 150 times.
6. What is your go-to activity when you’re on the bus?
Our team is a big fan of the game Mafia. We play that for about five or six hours at a time.
7. What are your thoughts on pitchers showing a lot of emotion on the mound after a big strikeout or an important play?
I don’t mind it. I’m all for guys competing at whatever headspace they need to compete at. That’s not really my game. There will be occasions where I get really fired up if the scenario calls for it. If pitchers get fired up, that’s cool. If a hitter bat flips on me, that’s cool, I’m just going to try and strike him out next time. I don’t mind it.
I would throw at a guy if he was trying to hurt one of my guys, probably, but not for anything like that. I’d rather just throw strike one and get him out.