David Goforth is waiting for August when he will begin classes in Oxford and continue furthering his baseball education. In the meantime, the Neshoba Central product is taking his ability on tour with the Mississippi Prospects, a summer league team comprised of talented teenagers including Alabama signee Tyler White. Goforth's right arm was the talk of a recent tourney.
"We were playing in the Under Armor World Series down in Florida, and I was clocked at the highest velocity that I have thrown so far," Goforth said. "Coach brought me in to close, and I don't know what got in to me. They said afterward that I hit 98 MPH."
That may have been a new high, but lighting up the radar gun is nothing new for the former Rocket. Goforth averaged 92-94 MPH during his senior season and compiled a 10-3 record with a 1.80 ERA. He also featured a .438 batting average but said that hitting wasn't in the equation at the next level.
"I hit well in high school, but that was against high school pitching," Goforth said. "I am going there to throw, and I think I can throw early."
The fastball gets the majority of the notoriety, but Goforth has a formidable array of pitches in his arsenal.
"I've worked on a slider since the beginning of summer, and it has been one of my better pitches along with the fastball," Goforth said. "Those two along with my circle change and curve ball are what I throw. I can throw a splitter, but I have done away with it lately. It faded out because I didn't throw it much during the season. I can also drop down and throw sidearm fastballs and curveballs."
Goforth's talent is obvious, and it also seems that pressure games and top competition don't affect him either. Goforth no-hit Lafayette County in a must-win third game during the state playoffs, but that wasn't even his best performance that week.
"We beat Lafayette, and I had to pitch game two of the next series on three days rest," Goforth said. "That was against West Lauderdale, which was No. 2 in the nation, and we beat them. It broke their 32-game winning streak and was the only time that we won after playing them six times. Coach Rob (Reinstetle) was there, and he said I hit 96 a lot."
Reinstetle saw that gem, but the first-year coach had earlier offered Goforth without a first-hand account of the righty's ability. Former Rebel assistant Dan McDonnell conducted Goforth's initial recruiting, and while the transition to a new point man is sometimes stressful, Goforth said everything has proceeded exceptionally well.
"Coach McDonnell recruited me my junior year and brought me in, but I have always been an Ole Miss fan," Goforth said. "I knew about the campus and the atmosphere. It made my day when they actually recruited me.
"Coach McDonnell watched me several times, and then Coach Rob offered me before even seeing me pitch. I guess Coach McDonnell talked well of me before leaving. I had a good relationship with Coach Dan, and it was sad when he left for Louisville, but Coach Rob and me developed our relationship quickly, and everything has worked out great."
Goforth said that he and Reinstetle talk or text message a couple times a week. Also, pitching coach Kyle Bunn and Reinstetle met up with Goforth at the East Coast Showcase last weekend in Jackson.
Summer ball and showcases are a way to keep in shape and stay fresh, but Goforth is ready and eager for the challenge of college baseball.
"I believe that I can pitch against whomever wants to step in the box. My velocity is up there, and I have enough offspeed to keep hitters off balance. I talked to Coach Rob yesterday, and he told me to take it easy and have my arm ready for fall camp. I think I can come in and help them out."
Incoming freshman flame-thrower ready to go
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