Ready To Pitch

In game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, Brady Bramlett is set to pitch and Henri Lartigue is scheduled to catch. A lot of eyes will be on both.

Lartigue, because he hasn’t really had an opportunity to catch in a game at Ole Miss, now in his second season with the Rebels. He caught a portion of five games last season.

And Bramlett, because the third-year sophomore right-hander has returned after a year off with labrum surgery and recovery.

“I’m completely excited,” said the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Bramlett. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this. I’m ready to get out there and prove myself.”

Bramlett never truly doubted he would return.

“At times it was hard. There was the anxiety of the unknown. But I knew once I got healthy, nothing would be able to stop me.”

A man of strong faith and conviction, Bramlett knew God had a plan, and he was more than willing to accept that, like he does everything in life

“It’s one of those things where everything happens for a reason. I’m starting to see now that He had a plan from the beginning.”

Bramlett pitched in eight games as a true freshman in 2013 with four starts. He was 5-1 and had an ERA of 3.00.

Against Arkansas State in a game in late April, he pitched two innings. The next day he knew something was wrong.

“The pain was on the front of my shoulder. The deceleration of a throw had sharp pain. I felt it on the follow through. It was purely labrum. It was a different kind of pain,” Bramlett said.

He had surgery in June and rehabbed to get back.

Today is that day.

“Thank God for Josh Porter (team trainer). He was there for me the entire time,” Bramlett said. “And my family too and all the coaches. Josh and I every day rehabbed and threw all the time.”

Bramlett likely wasn’t supposed to start today. A newcomer, juco transfer Sean Johnson, was predicted to start on weekends after fall ball. Then came January and Johnson experienced some tendonitis. That affected his delivery.

By last Monday it was apparent Johnson was much better but not ready to start this weekend. And Bramlett had already felt like he was 100 percent for a few weeks.

Christian Trent and Sam Smith were set to start. And now Brady Bramlett.

“He will get through it,” Bramlett said of Johnson. “I just talked to him and told him that. We pushed each other all fall and in the preseason.”

Bramlett came to Ole Miss with a lot of accolades and a resume’ filled with accomplishments. Ole Miss is where he always wanted to pitch.

He was named a 2012 Louisville Slugger High School All-American, and also named the 2012 Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association (TBCA) Player of the Year. He was selected as the 2012 Memphis Fellowship of Christian Athletes Male Athlete of the Year, and chosen as a 2012 Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State selection.

Bramlett knows the pitching staff at Ole Miss is deep and talented. He’d like to stay in the weekend starting rotation. Today he gets his chance to prove he belongs there.

“I’m going to do my job, whatever day of the week I’m throwing,” the Arlington, Tenn. High School product said. “But I intend to stay (as the third starter). I like where I am today. I’m excited and confident in myself and in this team.”

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