Pitcher Defies the Odds to Make Baseball Team

By Julian Bell, Sports Writer

In his freshman year, Dillon Forsythe tried out for the baseball team. He got cut.

In his sophomore year, Dillon Forsythe tried out again. He got cut.

He’s a junior now, and he came out again. This time he got a uniform.

Forsythe explained his determination.

“I just love the game,” Forsythe said. “I played from when I was six all the way up until I was a senior in high school. Then, I came here and I thought this would be a great opportunity to play, and then I got cut twice, but I still had it in me and I still felt like I could play.  So, I came out the third time and worked as hard as I could and I got lucky enough to be given the opportunity by Coach Puccio to play for this team.”

Baseball is in Forsythe’s genes.

“My dad was a huge baseball fan and my brother played baseball, so it’s in the family,” Forsythe said.

Forsythe has a 5.14 ERA so far this season, the second best on the team. Coach Puccio has noticed.

“He’s a walk-on,” Puccio said of Forsythe, “and the kid’s been terrific. I think he’s thrown like nine innings now and…his ERA is one of the better ERAs on the team.”

Forsythe credits his team for his personal accomplishments.

“I have to give it to my defense,” Forsythe said.  “I’m not a big strikeout pitcher so I rely on my defense heavily.  In a lot of games teams are making contact, but my defense is right behind me making plays so I have to give a lot of credit to them.  It’s all about throwing strikes and putting batters in tough situations.”

Forsythe has six strikeouts in 14 innings.  The most playing time he saw was against Davidson, when he pitched for three innings.

Obstacles early on in the season couldn’t stop Forsythe from living out his passion for the game.

“Early in the fall, my arm was bothering me, so I had to get a lot of treatment,” Forsythe said.  “I didn’t have that good of a fall.  Over the winter, I was rehabbing and when I came back, my arm felt good.  I just had to overcome that little injury because I wasn’t throwing for a while.”

Forsythe is fully recovered and ready to continue proving his value to the team.  Challenges have been a part of the process in his baseball career, but Forsythe uses them to become better at his craft.      

The Knights (8-14, 6-1 NEC) are on a four-game hot streak after sweeping Mount St. Mary’s in their NEC debut. Forsythe is waiting for one specific game.

“I think I’m looking forward to playing St. John’s the most,” Forsythe said.  “They’re ranked fourth in the country right now.  They’re a very good team and they’re going to have some really good players, so it’s going to be a tough test for us to play them.”           

Forsythe won’t forget how far he has come, and he’s enjoying the ride.

“As a walk-on, it was tough,” Forsythe said. “I know there’s a lot of guys here that are very good so as a walk-on, I was just trying to establish a spot.  I wasn’t expecting that much playing time, but early on, I got a couple opportunities and I was successful.  Now that I’m having success, every time I get the ball, I’m confident. I have great guys playing defense behind me and it’s a lot of fun.”