Trent Forshag was lying on a beach in Florida his senior year in high school when his phone began to ring with a 225 area code.
When Forshag answered the phone, LSU coach Paul Mainieri was on the other end. Mainieri was calling to ask about Forshag’s interest in joining the LSU baseball program as a walk on.
The Tigers had a few open spots after a couple of players transferred.
“Apparently, he was watching the news one night, and he saw me hit a double off the wall in one of my games,” Forshag said. “He just called to ask what I was doing and found out I was going to be a regular student, so he offered me that role on the team.”
Forshag’s freshman year was his only season on the active roster, where he spent most of the time as the bullpen catcher.
During that time, Forshag had the opportunity to learn from former Tiger Michael Papierski and recent graduate senior Nick Coomes about catching at a collegiate level.
“You start picking up little things they do to adjust to those tough pitches,” Forshag said.
When there were no spots on the team last season for the Tigers' magical 2017 run to Omaha, Mainieri asked for Forshag to return as a full-time bullpen catcher.
Forshag’s job is to be there whenever a pitcher is in need of throwing in practice or warming up before a game. Every day, the starting pitchers will have a throwing session that Forshag works in correlation with coach Alan Dunn.
Forsha has caught for many great pitchers over his three years, but one pitch stands apart from the rest that he’s seen.
“The nastiest pitch I’ve seen is probably [Alex] Lange’s curveball,” Forshag said. “It’s a 12-6 curveball that’s coming down and makes it very tough to catch.”
Three years after the first call from Mainieri, Forshag received a call from that same 225 area code, only now he knew who it was. Forshag raked through his mind about what he could’ve possibly done wrong to get a call from Mainieri out of the blue.
The call turned out to be the opportunity for a life changing experience. Forshag would be joining Mainieri on the staff of Team USA in 2018.
“It was totally out of the blue,” Forshag said. “When I saw his name on the call I thought ‘Oh man what did I do,’ it was just such a shock and took a little while to register. Coach explained it that every guy I’d be catching would have an arm like [Zack] Hess. I’m just really excited about it.”
Joining Forshag and Mainieri will be senior outfielder Antoine Duplantis, junior outfielder Zach Watson, sophomore outfielder Daniel Cabrera and junior pitcher Zack Hess.
One of the first things Mainieri did when he was appointed head coach of the 2018 National Team back in October was call Forshag up.
“I have such a fondness for guys that do the dirty jobs,” Mainieri said. “Trent’s a wonderful young man and a very vital part of the team. He’s going to have quite an experience this summer catching for some of the best pitchers in the country.”
Forshag, a finance major, will graduate in 2019 but has not decided what he plans to do. Joining the corporate world is a possibility, but if an opportunity presents itself to continue in baseball, Forshag would have to think long and hard about it.
“I always tell coach that there is no way I could ever repay [Mainieri] for the opportunity he gave me,” Forshag said. “I’ve made some of my best friends here, and it’s really like a fraternity. I take great pride in contributing to the team in whatever way I can.”
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story featured photos of Braden Doughty instead of Forshag. The Daily Reveille apologizes and regrets this error.