Braiden Partin carries himself well on the pitcher's mound.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Southside graduate can muster up a pretty good fastball when he needs to. He's adapted to changing speeds, too.

And, his self-taught split-finger fastball? Money.

But Partin hopes to rediscover something missing from his arsenal this summer — his 10-to-4, fall-off-the-coffee-table curveball.

The big right-hander is ready to throw darts for the Fort Smith Sportsman American Legion squad. Well, almost.

The Sportsman open the 2019 summer schedule a week from today in Muskogee.

Fastball? Check.

Splitter? Check.

Changeup? Check.

But the curveball?

"I didn't use it much this year," Partin said. "A few years back I got into a car wreck and broke my collarbone. I lost it after that; I kind of forgot about it.

"I was like, 'Let's work a changeup, instead.' That's when I brought a changeup into my arsenal."

Fine-tuning his curveball may suit him well in the hitter-friendly Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Partin's split-finger pitch played well for him this past spring. Despite falling on hard times and losing 14 straight games to end the season, killing any postseason dreams with it, Partin held his own in the 6A-Central.

He boasted a 4-1 overall record with a 1.18 earned run average, striking out 45 and allowing just eight earned runs in 47¹⁄³ innings of work.

But living in the past isn't part of Partin's repertoire.

"I definitely need to get more command of my splitter," Partin said. "I'm trying to work on a cut fastball right now, too, that will dive into lefties, and I need to master my curveball again."

"Really, I'm just trying to stay with my reps and keep fresh until I go there."

Partin said he fiddled around with throwing a split-finger by accident.

"Really, I thought it was a knuckle ball at first," he said. "I was about 9 or 10 and I thought, 'This is cool.' I kept on throwing it for fun. Then as I got older it started moving a little bit so I was like, 'Oh wait, this is cool.'

"When I was 12, I started throwing it in games. I actually had my first strikeout with that when I was 12."

Partin said he's been able to disguise his changeup.

"It comes out the same way as my splitter does," he said. "But it keeps on going and just drops off. It looks like a fastball, but it kind of tails off. It's pretty nice; I like it."

Partin and the Mavericks started the season with back-to-back conference wins over perennial conference baseball stalwarts Cabot and North Little Rock.

But after spinning a 1-0 shutout against the Charging Wildcats in late March, Southside couldn't seem to get the big hit and figure out how to win close games.

"You really have to just look past what happened; you can learn what not to do in the future," Partin said. "The upcoming guys coming back, they have something to build on. We had two off years, pretty much, and it gives them (returning players) something to build off of."