Goforth pleased to be returning

David Goforth got the call all players want when he heard from the Cleveland Indians in the 31st round a couple of weeks ago during the draft.

But not too long after the excitement of being a chosen man began to subside, the realization of what he needed to do began to set in.

The fourth-year junior to be from Neshoba Central said once his head cleared, coming back to school was the best option for him.

"After the first couple of days after the draft, to be honest I didn't know what to do," said the right-hander who started the season in the bullpen but halfway through became a starter. "I was excited to be drafted. It's obviously something every college player dreams about. That made it kind of tough. But I know there's a lot of stuff I can improve on. The season I had was definitely not the best. I felt I could come back here and help Ole Miss out and get better."

His struggles were well documented this season, but he kept going out to the mound to try and get the job done. He knows what some of his flaws were, and he's ready to work to improve them.

"Consistency. That's been my biggest problem since I've been here," he said. "Being more consistent with my mechanics and throwing more balls into the strike zone. My Achilles heel was walking way too many guys. That's one thing I definitely want to cut down on this year is the walks. I have to cut down on those and just be more consistent generally. Keep the ball low in the strike zone and continue to work on my offspeed pitches and getting those better."

And when he returns in August, he'll once again have an open mind as far as what it means to help the team. Just like last season, he's willing to take on any role.

David Goforth

"Whatever they need me to do, whatever Coach needs me to do, that's what I want to do," Goforth said. "I told him that last fall, and that's one of the reasons I think I ended up starting for us. It just doesn't matter to me. Whatever they need me to do."

What he most wants to do is be better than he's been. He feels he can help the program and he wants to do just that.

"I think I have a lot more to show, a lot more to give the program than what I did this past year," he said. "It's one of those things maybe instead of just getting drafted and running away from it, I need to stay here and pitch. If you can't pitch here, you're not going to pitch at the next level anyway. That definitely played a big part in it."

Goforth said he believes the pitching staff can be strong in 2011, despite losing Drew Pomeranz and Aaron Barrett.

"Even though we lost the Friday and Saturday guys, I think we have enough guys coming back and also coming in to do well," said Goforth, who joined Matt Tracy this week as drafted Rebel hurlers who said they will return. Tracy was drafted in the 43rd round by the Florida Marlins.

"From what I hear, we have a lot of guys that were drafted that are still coming. We'll see who shows up, and I think it will be a good fall to see how things go and what we have. We have enough core guys coming back that I think we'll be alright."

Goforth said he's just glad to have it all behind him so he can enjoy his summer.

"I didn't want it to drag out. I just wanted to make a decision and stick with it and have it over with," he said. "I was almost staying up at night, thinking about it all the time. It was bad. I'm just glad to have a decision made and move on from here."


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