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UT Martin's Smith Excels Despite Disadvantage

By Adam Wells
By awells@wbbjtv.com

Carter Smith is one of the best pitchers on UT Martin's pitching staff. But with the one difference being that he takes the mound every game with the use of only one hand.

"Sometimes it motivates me when they think I can't keep up with the others," Smith said. "That will motivate me and I'll show them that I can.

Born without his right hand, Smith has had to overcome obstacles. And time after time has proved that he can play.

"I've had to change my thinking on that, too," UT Martin Head Coach Bubba Cates said. "Because things you think he might not be able to do, he can do. And he does some of it better than others."

"Sometimes teams will bunt on me but it doesn't bother me because I think it's an easy out," Smith said.

Comparisons can be made to former major league pitcher Jim Abbott, who like Smith was born without his right hand.

"The Angels played at Busch Stadium and since I'm from St. Louis and dad took me to watch him pitch and that was cool," Smith said. "He's definitely motivated me and inspired me to keep working hard, never give up and to chase my dreams."

So far this season Smith is (3-0) with an ERA of 3.86. But it is not his ability to throw strikes or how fast he can throw that sets him apart from other pitchers.

"He's got a high competitive nature and that's special in any athlete," Coach Cates said. "I think that's the one thing that separates him from all of them. He's at a high level and were thankful for that."

"I like to win," Smith said. "Growing up I had two brothers and we played sports a lot. My older brother always beat me so it's motivated me to win."

And that is what he has done throughout his career, on every level.

"A goal for me is to just go out and do my best and give my all," Smith said. "And to do what I can to give my team the best chance at winning."