For Bo Gobin, a change in his delivery did more than alter the trajectory of his pitches — it altered the trajectory of his pitching career.
About three years ago, Gobin was an average overhand pitcher with good command, but without the velocity to blow away hitters, or scouts.
However, prior to a summer ball game in Blythewood when he was a rising sophomore, Gobin began a transformation as a pitcher.
Working with his head coach, Banks Faulkner, Gobin dropped the angle of his right arm down to become a side-armed pitcher.
“One day we were at Blythewood about to start a game, and he was like, ‘Try this,’” Gobin said. “That’s when he dropped me down, and I warmed up in the bullpen throwing like that, and I started that game throwing like that. I only threw a fastball because that’s all I knew the first day.”
By lowering his throwing motion, Gobin raised his ceiling.
“That first day, I wasn’t really comfortable with it, but I was like all right, I can do this,” Gobin said. “I can work with this, and so I worked with pitches and worked with (Faulkner) a lot on that.
“At the end of the season, he looked at me and said, ‘That’s going to get you to college one day.’ I was like, ‘I hope so.’”
It did. Following a superb final two seasons at Summerville High School, when he posted minuscule earned run averages of 1.00 in 21 innings and 0.68 in 72 innings, respectively, Gobin committed to Clemson last Thursday.
“After I talked to my family and talked to the coaches, I thought that was the best decision for me,” Gobin said, “and where I’ll be happiest the next four years of my life.”
After Summerville beat J.L. Mann on Friday to win the Class AAAA state championship, Gobin withdrew his commitment from The Citadel, where he had been committed since December 2015, and then visited Clemson on Sunday.
“I de-committed from The Citadel on Saturday and then went to Clemson, loved the campus, loved the coaching staff and loved the facilities,” Gobin said. “It was a pretty surreal day. I had never really seen Clemson like I did on the visit, so that was eye-opening. I just loved the hometown feel.”
Gobin, whose arsenal consists of a fastball, slider and changeup, will pitch out of the bullpen at Clemson.
“My freshman year, I want to go up there and compete for a spot — whenever I need to come out of the bullpen, get a big out or two and just do what I can do to help the team win,” Gobin said. “Later on in my career, hopefully I can move into a closing role.
“We’ll see, but I definitely expect to work out of the bullpen. I’ve done that my whole life. I love the feeling of coming in and getting the last three outs of the game. There’s no better feeling.”
Gobin plans to enroll in the second session of summer classes at Clemson, which starts June 22.