How Josh Nowotny's extra work with Forsgren can help Van Buren baseball in 2022

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

Josh Nowotny is getting extra work the Forsgren AA Sportsman team  in Fort Smith to help Van Buren win another state baseball title.

He didn't play much travel ball growing up, and this is his first season with any of the American Legion teams.

"Playing with the Sportsman is something I'm certainly thankful for," Nowotny said. "I see this as an opportunity to work on my skills and get better so that when I return to Van Buren next season, so we can go back-to-back at the state tournament."

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Nowotny technically had his debut on the mound during the second game of a doubleheader against Harrison on June 23 at Forsgren Field in Fort Smith. He faced five batters and threw for 1⅔ innings. Nowotny had three strikeouts in 21 pitches and kept Harrison from scoring additional runs in the 5-3 loss.

He has also been pitching for Van Buren this summer during practices.

"I've seen a lot of improvement with my pitching," he said. "I've also been doing more work in the outfield. The hitting is something I've been working on as well, and I've seen some improvement."

Forsgren began the season with five consecutive losses but has won six out of the last 10 games. Nowotny said the team had done well this summer, and it had an off night against Harrison.

"We just got to put this game behind us. We know we're a good team and can kick anyone's butt, but the best thing for us to do is to forget it and move on and work on beating the next team," Nowotny said. "Sometimes, it can be challenging for me. Not hitting well in a game can kill your confidence when you go into the next game. I have to tell myself that this is something I can do and have confidence in myself."

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Van Buren won its first Class 5A baseball title in May, and Nowotny said the players were good about helping each other overcome confidence challenges.

"The main thing was that we worked well as a team, we all got along, and we helped each other through our mental blocks," he said. "It also helped that we had a few star players on the team."