Spartans’ Nelson looking for revenge in 2023

The pitcher wants one last piece of hardware

Braydon Neslon, Tampa Spartans baseball.
Braydon Nelson at the University of Tampa Spartans baseball practice warming up. (Zulfiqar Sheikh/Toronto Observer) 

TAMPA, Fla. – After two years pitching for St. Bonaventure University, Braydon Nelson transferred to the University of Tampa Spartans baseball team in 2019 with one goal in mind – winning a National Championship.

He’s made multiple All-American teams, has been on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll with a 4.0 GPA, and has accomplished even more. Yet all that takes a back seat to his ultimate goal.

“Getting first-team All-American last year is probably the one I’d be most proud of. But the biggest thing I want to do in my time here is win a National Championship,” he said. “Winning those kinds of awards is cool, but it’s still the main goal, the team goal of winning the National Championship, that’s on my mind.”

Nelson is calling what will be his final collegiate season, the Revenge Tour, and you can see him using the title all over his social media. It’s his way of trying to rectify the team’s disappointing end to their 2022 season when they lost in the NCAA South Super Regional game to Rollins College.

“It was mostly from coming up short last year … and kind of building off of it,” he said. “Last year, losing in the Supers, we didn’t expect to lose there. It hurt a lot, and it was just gnawing at the tip of my tongue. (We) didn’t want to re-experience that feeling of losing in that spot again and using everything to build towards a better run this year to hopefully come out on top.”

The Revenge Tour appears to be in full effect. The Spartans are 20-4 and the nation’s No. 2- ranked Division II Men’s baseball team. Nelson hasn’t lost a game in his nine appearances this season, striking out 28 batters in 22.2 innings, picking up four wins and one save.

The Brecksville, Ohio, native is going to be instrumental in any deep playoff run the Spartans hope to make. Head coach Joe Urso has put the ball in Nelson’s glove in the most pivotal moments and thinks that when his confidence is up, the 24-year-old is one of his best options.

“He led our team in ERA (earned run average) last year and was our closer, so he had the ball in the most important times,” said the five-time National Championship coach. “We moved him into that bullpen and his personality took off, and now he believes that he’s the best.”

Braydon Nelson is poised for a post-season run with the UT Spartans. (Zulfiqar Sheikh/Toronto Observer)

With one more run at a title, Nelson is putting everything into achieving what he came to Tampa for. He’s worked harder, put in more hours, and has made his entire focus about winning games.

“That’s what everything for me has been centered around,” he said. “I came here with the goal when I transferred here of winning the National Championship, and this is my last opportunity to do so. I’m kind of just going all out for it at this point.”

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Posted: Mar 24 2023 6:49 am
Filed under: Baseball College NCAA Sports