Since his arrival at Salisbury University, senior pitcher Braden Stinar has been a staple in the rotation for the Sea Gull baseball team.
The senior began his collegiate baseball career at Elizabethtown College, a Division III school roughly 45 miles north of the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.
In his junior season at Elizabethtown, the right-hander commanded the Blue Jay rotation with a 6-1 win-loss record.
There were several factors that played into Stinar’s decision to leave his former flock and join the Sea Gulls.
The biggest reason was the mutual interest between Stinar and Salisbury manager Troy Brohawn.
Stinar was on Brohawn’s radar during his first three seasons at Elizabethtown. Once he learned that Stinar was transferring, he jumped at the opportunity to recruit the former Blue Jay to finish his career out at Salisbury.
One thing Brohawn loves about the senior right-hander is his poise on the mound, something he also mentioned following his most recent outing.
“He’s aggressive, he throws strikes and he never gets rattled. Back at [Elizabethtown], he was always pitching in big games for them,” Brohawn said. “He’s a guy who’s been in those types of situations before.”
The top attribute that Brohawn seeks to develop in his players is work ethic. Brohawn said this is a Salisbury unit that pushes to be the most hard-working unit in the nation.
That was another area where Stinar fit the bill for the Sea Gulls.
Stinar is absolutely no stranger to putting in the work. The senior spends his off-seasons in his hometown of Forest Hill, Md., where he trains and helps coach at his brother’s baseball facility called the Velo Farm.
Finding a team with a competitive atmosphere was something Stinar took into consideration when making the decision regarding where he would play baseball this season.
“Coach Brohawn brought me in and I knew what this team was about,” Stinar said. “I see the way they play, and they’re a bunch of really competitive guys and hard workers, and it was really easy for me to buy in. It’s really been a perfect fit.”
The Sea Gulls currently hold a 6-3 record and rank third in the Capital Athletic Conference behind Southern Virginia University and Christopher Newport University. The team also ranks ninth in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll as of March 5.
With the arrival of Stinar and fellow transfer Colt Stemkowski to come alongside a talented freshman class, Brohawn spoke very highly of his pitching staff heading into the season. The Salisbury manager said he felt comfortable running 12 to 13 arms out on the mound.
Despite the depth on the mound, the pitching staff has had its struggles. The unit has allowed six or more runs in three of its eight games so far this season.
Stinar, however, has certainly been a bright spot for the Sea Gulls. The right-hander is 2-1 on the year and registered a 2.95 ERA through his first three starts.
The senior recently received CAC Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance against the State University of New York Oswego on March 1.
The right-hander came up big on several occasions for the Gulls, stranding seven runners on base by getting some big outs with runners in scoring position.
“My fastball command was not quite where I would like it to be,” Stinar said. “I was still able to find the strike zone and use some of my off speed pitches to get out of trouble.”
As much as he loves the game, Stinar said he is prepared for a life beyond baseball. A political science major, he has been accepted into graduate school, where in the coming fall he will continue to study in his field.
Before that, though, he still has some business to take care of on the diamond.
Stinar and the Gulls will look to bounce back from a 10-4 loss to No. 22 Johns Hopkins on Sunday when they host Stevenson University on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
By THOMAS WEST
Featured Photo: Brad Boardman image.