Fortier Hoping to Lead ‘Cats to A-10 Title

Wes Kerr – Davidson Baseball’s Brian Fortier is enjoying a monster senior season. The 6 foot 6 inch first baseman leads the Atlantic 10 with ten home runs and is ranked in the top fifty long ball hitters in the nation. “B-Fort,” as he is called by Wildcat fans, also tops of the conference in runs batted in and total bases covered. Brian’s stellar defense has ranked him with the second most putouts in the league. He was named a National Player of the Week on February 27 by the NCAA. In a stretch of four games, he hit four home runs and drove in nine runs total. The Wildcat stud was also named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week the same weekend. A couple of days later, he went 5 for 5 and ripped a walk-off hit to beat Butler at home. As assistant coach Rucker Taylor pointed out, “He works hard day in and day out. His offensive numbers jump out, but he’s played great defense as well. We know he’s an outstanding player, and we look for him to continue to perform at a high level.” Fortier and the Wildcats will look to reach the 2017 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship in Saint Louis, Missouri during the week of May 24- 27. Originally from Holly Springs, North Carolina, just a few hours away from Davidson College, Fortier is eying the opportunity to pursue a pro baseball career. I sat down with the Wildcat slugger to talk about his Davidson baseball experience.

How did you get started in baseball and why have you enjoyed playing it?

Basically, my parents got me started at an early age in baseball. My mom was a softball pitcher in college at Rhode Island and I shared her interest in the sport of baseball ever since I was about 4 years old. I enjoy playing baseball because of the competitiveness it brings out of me. I’ve also made almost all of my friends through baseball and I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything.

What has been your greatest baseball moment in your Davidson history?

My greatest baseball moment at Davidson came last year in the conference tournament when I hit a grand slam against Rhode Island.

How were you able to maintain such consistency during your stretch of home runs in early March?

During that stretch, I just wanted to stay calm and not get too excited because I knew at some point I was going to cool down a little bit. Baseball is a streaky game and I just try to stay on an even level through the hot and cold streaks.

What are some of your pre-game rituals? Any rituals?

The only real pre-game ritual I have is that I go through specific handshakes with about eight other guys on the team before we line up for the national anthem.

How have you improved as a hitter and fielder throughout your four years here?

Our Assistant Coach Rucker Taylor has done a tremendous job with our hitters and I feel like through my four years here, he has worked with me on driving the ball more and using my size to my advantage. I think my improvements on fielding have come mainly from getting more reps during four years of practice and trying to improve each day.

Which teammates have made the greatest impact on you and why?

The one teammate I feel that has had the greatest impact on me was Dave Daniels. He graduated when I was a sophomore in 2015 and was the first baseman before me. He had an extremely good senior year and was a captain. I wanted to compete to do at least just as well as he did.

You just missed the A-10 title in 2016, losing to Rhode Island in the final. What are some keys for Davidson to qualify for and win the Atlantic 10 Tournament in May?

We just need to take it one game at a time and do everything we can to stay in games and win every conference series. The key to winning the Atlantic 10 tournament is being on top of all areas of the game going into the tournament. We have enough talent and skill on our roster at the plate, on the mound, and on defense, that if we play our game, we can make a run in the tournament and hopefully come out on top this year.

What else would you like to accomplish before the end of your time at Davidson?

Simply, I want to win the Atlantic 10 tournament in Saint Louis and go to an NCAA Tournament regional.

Are you interested in playing professionally? If not, what are your post-graduation plans?

I am very interested in playing professional baseball. I have had some contact from various MLB teams and am planning to declare for the 2017 draft. As of now I do not have any other plans after graduation other than trying to play baseball at the next level.