Courtesy of OSU athletic department
After not pitching in a collegiate game in nearly three years, right-hander Brad Goldberg might have shown some signs of rust in the early going of the season. For the Ohio State baseball team, though, those signs are nowhere to be found.
Goldberg, a redshirt senior, spent two years at Coastal Carolina before transferring to OSU after the 2010 season. He was forced to sit out the 2011 season due to NCAA transfer rules and was ruled ineligible last season due to an insufficient amount of credit hours in his transfer.
In his first outing as a Buckeye, the Beachwood, Ohio, native pitched a gem, going seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters in a 3-1 win against St. John’s on Feb. 17.
“There were a lot of mixed emotions, a lot more highs than lows,” Goldberg said of his first start for OSU. “It was kind of a culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of triumphs. I had to calm myself down, that’s for sure.”
In three starts this season, Goldberg has gone 2-0, leading the Big Ten in strikeouts (22) and opposing batting average (.119), while coming in second with a 0.47 earned-run average. His performance thus far this season has already earned him two conference Pitcher of the Week awards.
Coach Greg Beals had nothing but praise for Goldberg, saying that he has played an integral role in achieving the team’s current 6-4 record.
“I think what Brad has done is that he solidifies the starting rotation,” Beals said. “He brings depth to the team. It’s an addition of a front-line guy to your team from the previous year. Not only do you put a new guy on the team but you put a new guy on the team with a major role. It puts everybody else in roles that are easier and more comfortable for them to handle. He’s meant a lot to how we’ve been playing to this point.”
As if his imposing 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound figure was not enough to intimidate opposing hitters, Goldberg throws a repertoire of pitches that includes a sinker, curveball, slider and a fastball that reaches more than 90 miles per hour.
When taking the mound, Goldberg has one goal in mind – dominance.
“I’m trying to dictate,” Goldberg said. “I’m trying to throw my pitches and use that sinker to my advantage. I’m not trying to let them take the pace of the game, I’m trying to make sure I’m comfortable with my tempo and I’m throwing the pitches I want in my counts.”
Goldberg’s catcher, sophomore Aaron Gretz, said that his teammate’s confidence has been the key to his early success.
“Brad’s got a lot of swagger when he goes out there,” Gretz said. “He comes out and he knows he’s going to win. He knows he’s going to challenge you right away and he knows that his stuff is better than you and he’s going to get you out every time.”
But in order to maintain his high-level of play, Goldberg said he will have to continue to push himself.
“Just preparation, man, that’s what it comes down to,” Goldberg said. “Just a relentless consistency in my preparation. Have a good week in practice. Good bullpens. Stay in shape. Stuff like that.”
Looking back on the long wait to finally step onto the hill for the Buckeyes, Goldberg said that the situation has provided him with the chance to show his potential. As of right now, he is making the most out of that chance.
“Setbacks are always opportunities for comebacks,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg and the rest of the OSU baseball team are set to travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to take on Harvard Friday, Ball State Saturday and Costal Carolina Sunday and Monday.