Brandon Lashley strives to be confident even in the toughest situation.
That is a good trait to possess as a pitcher.
And his ability to remain calm under pressure has attracted attention.
The Ocean City High School standout verbally committed Thursday to continue his baseball career at NCAA Division I Stony Brook University in Brookhaven, New York. The Seawolves finished 32-25 (12-12 America East Conference) last season.
Lashley, 17, will be a senior at Ocean City in the fall.
“I want to keep getting better at pitching,” Lashley said. “I always wanted to play D-I baseball since I was a kid. Now that I can, I want to get out there and compete and see where that leads me. ... I want to work my way up in their program.”
Lashley, an Upper Township resident, added that Stony Brook was closer to home than other programs that gave him offers, including Rhode Island, Rider and Morehead State.
Lashley said his family can now make the trip more easily to attend some of his games.
Lashley, a first-team Press All-Star in the spring, finished 4-2 with a 1.60 ERA. He had 77 strikeouts in 43.2 innings, leading the Red Raiders to a 16-5 record.
“Brandon is one of the best I ever coached,” Ocean City coach Andrew Bristol said. “He is a gamer, man. He thrives on pressure; that’s what I love about him.”
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Lashley is never satisfied and always seeks improvement, according to Bristol.
“I think they (Stony Brook) liked his composure on the mound,” Bristol said. “I think they loved his composure and competitiveness. He will be up against a lot of good hitters, and that will not rattle him.”
Ocean City lost fellow ace Dan Nunan to graduation. Nunan was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 12th round (361st overall) in the MLB draft on June 6.
Even still, Lashley is excited for his senior season next spring.
“I think it is going to be good,” Lashley said. “Our pitching will be strong. We did lose Nunan, which is big. But we still have A.J. Campbell, too. We will be good.”
Campbell had a 0.66 ERA last season, which Bristol said was the lowest in program history.
Lashley’s determined mindset and aggressive demeanor will prove beneficial at the collegiate level.
“I’m all about winning,” Lashley said. “I compete, compete and compete. ... I work pretty fast, and just try to hit my spot. I feel like if I have control and get the ball where I want it, I can be successful.”