Braden Forsyth isn’t preoccupied with his role. He simply wants to win.
That winning mentality, and the beautiful campus, are what drew the former University of Mississippi closer to the University of Tampa.
The right-hander dealt with a cartilage buildup in his elbow at the start of the year that required a cortisone shot to treat.
But since his return, coach Joe Urso has gotten multiple quality outings from the Mississippi native.
“He started the season with us not ready,” said Urso, on a video scrum. “Now he’s healthy and he gets the ball at the end of the game.”
His last two appearances were a three inning no-hit save against St. Leo on March 19, and a 2.2 inning, two-hit performance at Flagler for his first win of the year on March 22.
These outings are what Forsyth has come to expect of himself. As Urso described, the junior player has a lively arm, combined with an excellent slider to keep hitters off-balance.
“I don’t really get caught up in how many innings I’m gonna have to throw or I wish I was starting,” said Forsyth. “Beginning of the season I told him (Urso}, whatever you got to do … I’m here to win.
“Whatever we got to do to make it work.”
Forsyth’s pitching mentality is every coach’s dream come true. A reliable piece that could be used at any time in a game to take the stress off.
Urso knew what type of pitcher he was getting after talking with Ole Miss head coach, Mike Bianco.
“He had a lot of great things to say about Braden and what he could do for our program. So I knew I was getting … an electric arm,” said the Tampa coach.
Forsyth’s season spent at Meridian Junior College, where he had two starts, and two seasons at Ole Miss was where he really grew into the pitcher he is today.
“That was where I really started learning who I was, as a person and as a pitcher,” said Forsyth. “So I really got to learn things that are going to actually benefit me in my career.”
The Mississippi native’s past experiences make him stand out amongst the pitching staff of one of the top D2 programs in the country. University of Tampa program has won eight national championships and is currently ranked No 1 in the nation.
“We just try to hide that lingering thought in the back of the head and just focus on who we got coming up this week,” said Forsyth. “Because we know in the end, if we keep playing like that, you know one game at a time, that we’re gonna be successful.”