“I was just missing”: Brady Stinnett’s conversation with brother Parker leads to career night

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

OXFORD, MISS — Brady Stinnett knew something was off.

The sophomore righty had given up four or more runs in three consecutive starts, missing his targets wildly and issuing far too many free passes.

Every pitcher goes through rough patches, but Stinnett felt like something was off mechanically with his delivery, so he turned to a familiar face for advice.

Stinnett comes from a family full of pitching pedigree. Older brothers Parker and Carson helped guide Oxford to back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017, and are now excelling in the collegiate ranks at Mississippi State and Memphis, respectively.

When the youngest Stinnett needed help figuring out what was wrong with his delivery, he reached out to his brother Parker for advice.

“The last couple weeks I’ve been landing on the back of my foot when I’m coming down on the mound,” Stinnett said. “It was causing my arm to fly open and it was making the ball go high and inside—I was hitting a lot of batters and just kind of missing.”

He sent his brother a video of a bullpen session and asked him what he needed to work on to improve his command and be more effective on the mound.

“I sent him a video and he looked at it and said ‘hey land on the ball of your foot because it will help you get some velocity and make the ball go in the right place.’ So I started working on that in our midweek bullpen and it started going where I wanted it to and I kinda got in the mindset that it was gonna be a good weekend,” Stinnett said.

The results spoke for themselves, as Stinnett put together his best start of the season on May 7 in a 10-3 victory over Hernando that sent Oxford to the North Half finals for the first time since 2018.

Stinnett tossed six innings in the win, giving up just one earned run on three hits as he mowed through a talented Tigers lineup time and time again.

His fastball looked sharper than it has all season, zipping past batters in the inside part of the zone as they flailed aimlessly in desperate attempts to just make contact. The heater also set up Stinnett’s new-and-improved curveball, which he used effectively in the early innings to keep opposing hitters off-balance.

The sophomore righty said he started to throw more of a power curve late in the season rather than a more traditional looping breaking ball, keeping it low in the zone and generating more swings-and-misses.

“Really just kind of throwing it more,” Stinnett said when asked what changed about his breaking ball. “I used to try and bait it a little bit, kind of get it over the plate and it was getting hit so I started throwing it harder and it was getting a lot more swings-and-misses… I’m kind of experimenting with different places [to use it] now.”

Stinnett hopes his newfound success will continue as Oxford faces off against the best of the best in the state late in the playoffs. The Chargers take on DeSoto Central in the North Half championship this weekend with a bid to the state title series on the line.

“[We want to prove] our whole team can compete, not just me but all of our pitchers. We weren’t ranked going into this but now we’re in the final four so we’re all gonna go out there and compete our butts off,” said Stinnett.

Oxford hosts the Jaguars for game one of the series on Friday before traveling to Southaven for game two on Saturday. The Chargers will return home for game three on Monday if necessary.