One way or another, recent Denham Springs High graduate Braden Doughty was likely headed to LSU for college.
That a big opportunity to mix a game he loves with his college education arose to accompany those plans, well, that’s a stroke of good fortune.
Good fortune often results from hard work and dedication, though, and those are two things Doughty took care of during his baseball career at DSHS.
The result: Doughty earned a spot as a preferred walk-on to the LSU baseball program.
“They could wind up with not as many catchers as they want depending on how the draft works out, so they reached out to me and then came and watched me play,” said Doughty, who was picked as one of two All-District 4-5A catchers. “They called and talked to me and I decided it was something I wanted to pursue.
“I was thinking of going to LSU as a student anyway, so when this opportunity showed itself, it gave me a great option. I knew if it came up, I was ready to continue my career, but I also knew that it’s just a game and if it didn’t happen, I wasn’t going to put more on it and base the rest of my life on whether it happened.”
As a senior for DSHS, Doughty blossomed offensively and batted .305 with 36 hits, 30 RBIs, 6 doubles, 1 triple and a home run. He batted in the three-hole most of the season in front of Louisiana-Lafayette signee Brock Batty.
Doughty’s younger brother Cade, a sophomore who has already committed to LSU, was the Jackets’ leadoff hitter.
“Playing with Cade the last two years has really made it fun for me,” Braden Doughty said.
With more concrete plans in place, Doughty will keep his focus on baseball thus summer when he plays for the Louisiana Knights Black. Besides staying sharp on the diamond, Doughty said he also hopes to pack on some weight to prepare for the college level.
“I want to focus on getting bigger and stronger so I am as ready as I can be for college ball,” he said. “I know I need my body to be in as good of shape as I can be when I get there.”
That readiness comes with plenty of motivation.
“I don’t know what they expect from me, but I think I have a chance to surprise people when I get there,” Doughty said. “That’s what I’m going to try and go do.”