There’s simply no way to avoid it – 2018 was tough for the Baltimore Orioles, the team for which Owasso High School-ex Dylan Bundy has pitched the last three seasons.

The O’s lost a franchise-record 115 games, traded most of their best players and fired manager Buck Showalter at season’s end.

Bundy, 26, started a career-best 31 games but lost 16, tying him for the American League lead.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” Bundy says. “We had high expectations in spring training, especially after we signed [Alex] Cobb and [Andrew] Cashner. We started out not very well and really couldn’t get out of the hole we created for ourselves in April. And then obviously, when we had to trade all those guys away – a totally different team now.”

Late in the 2012 season, the Orioles added Bundy to their 40-man roster and he made his Major League debut at age 19 after signing with the organization the previous year. He went back to the minor leagues for three years before returning to Baltimore in 2016. Bundy has pitched in 97 games for the Orioles, all for Showalter, who led them to three playoff appearances in nine seasons.

Bundy will pitch for a different manager in 2019 but he relished the time with Showalter.

“As far as situations and knowing the game, the rules of the game, stuff like that on a baseball field, he’s probably one of the smartest human beings as far as situational stuff in-game and situations like that,” Bundy says. “It’s pretty impressive.”

Bundy spends the offseason in Owasso and enjoys hunting season – a nice retreat from two months of spring training in Arizona and 162 regular-season games.

“I’ve got a house a small golf shot away from where I grew up,” Bundy says. “I plan on staying in Oklahoma. That’s where I want to be and that’s where all my family’s from. I just like the area also – big fan of it. There’s not many people and there’s not [traffic] congestion.”

During the season, he enjoys seeing fellow Oklahomans around the big leagues, including two other Owasso High products, Brian Flynn of the Kansas City Royals and Pete Kozma of the Detroit Tigers.

“I was able to talk to [Flynn] when they came to us,” Bundy says. “It’s always cool to see small-town people from that area get to the big leagues and hopefully stay there.”

Another silver lining from 2018 is that Bundy was again able to stay healthy, something he doesn’t take lightly after battling injuries early in his career.

“I’m just learning every single day, every single year, then trying to build on that and trying to get better each year,” he says.