By Brad Morris
Following an All-American season for Marietta College, Brett Carson was searching for an opportunity to prove he can play baseball at the professional level.
The Teays Valley alumnus received that opportunity on Monday when he signed with the Washington (Penn.) Wild Things of the Frontier League.
“I’m very excited to get started with my pro career, because it has been a dream of mine since I first picked up a bat and a glove,” Carson said. “It’s exciting that I get to play for that little me’s dream, while also representing my family, the college and city of Marietta, and also Teays Valley and my hometown of Ashville and show on the professional level what I can do.”
The Wild Things were the first professional team to give Carson a workout and they were impressed enough to give him a chance to play in a Major League Baseball Partner League.
“I’m very grateful and extremely blessed for this opportunity with Washington,” Carson said. “They were the first pro team to open the doors for a workout for me to showcase my skills and I wanted to take full advantage of that and earn my first professional contract.”
Carson played center field and was a member of the starting rotation this spring for Marietta College and had one of the best seasons in all of Division III baseball for a two-way player.
He started all 50 games and batted .419 with 21 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs and 58 RBI. A left-handed batter and pitcher, Carson was also second in the NCAA with 88 hits, third in total bases with 151, and tenth in doubles with 21.
The numbers are even more impressive when considering Carson had a slow start to the season, batting just .156 in the Pioneers’ first nine games.
“I started off a little rough in the beginning of the year, so I had to go back to the drawing board, and I decided to switch up my swing a little bit and that allowed me to be more on time and more balanced for whatever anyone threw at me,” Carson revealed. “Making that switch, as well as extensive weight training in the offseason, is what I believe has helped produce the power numbers I produced this year and extra-base hits.”
Carson said the extra work he put in during the offseason bred a tougher mentality that he played with every time he stepped into the batter’s box for the Pioneers.
“I treated every at-bat as being completely brand new and I also told myself, ‘I put in more work than you; I’m better than you and you’re not getting me out’,” he said. “Anyone that knows me knows that’s not how I walk around or talk, however it’s the flip of the mentality on the field that allowed me to walk around with confidence that I’m looking to still transfer into professional baseball, no matter the size of an opponent or even how good they are.
“Having the confidence is the first step, because if you step in the box defeating yourself before he does, it’s already over.”
On the mound, Carson was 5-2 with two saves and an Ohio Athletic Conference-best 1.87 earned run average. He pitched in 14 games making seven starts. Carson struck out 65 batters in 53 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a paltry .196 batting average. His 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings was third-best in the conference.
The list of postseason honors that Carson earned could fill a small magazine. He was named as a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and earned second-team honors from D3Baseball.com.
Carson was named the Player of the Year in the OAC and in Region VII by both D3Baseball.com and the ABCA. The Teays Valley alumnus also earned first team All-OAC and All-Region and was named the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Regional Tournament.
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point,” Carson said. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone at Marietta for allowing me to feel at home and allowing me to find myself as a person and as a player. To all my teammates and coach for pushing me every single day to be better has also allowed me to get to this point.
“I also have to thank (Teays Valley coach Mark Colburn), as well, for everything he’s done for me, including opening the amazing new field house after hours for me to get work in during the winter at home, and the field at Teays Valley for when I’m home and it’s warmer. My parents have also helped me stay the course and allowed me to follow my dreams and have always supported me. Without that circle of people, I’m not where I’m at today.”