“I’ve had an amazing experience at COS,” Forbus said. “I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to play baseball here. This has been an awesome school and community to be a part of.”

RJ Forbus is grateful that College of the Siskiyous gave him the chance to play baseball on the college level.

“I’ve had an amazing experience at COS,” Forbus said. “I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to play baseball here. This has been an awesome school and community to be a part of.”

Now, RJ, a right-handed pitcher, will move on to play baseball on the four-year level at NAIA program Kansas Wesleyan University.

In high school, Forbus was on a talented and deep team at a large school in Las Vegas, Nev., Rancho High, and did not see a substantial amount of playing time.

Forbus, an excellent student who graduated from high school at age 17, believed that he would not play baseball on the collegiate level and would go on to a four-year school and focus solely on his academics.

But, Manny Llamas, his head coach in high school, and a former player at College of the Siskiyous, saw potential in him and alerted College of the Siskiyous head coach Nick Thielman about RJ.

After talking to his coach and Forbus, Thielman came away impressed with the young man and offered Forbus a spot on the Eagles baseball team.

RJ arrived in Weed determined to prove he had what it took to play on the college level and contributed as a freshman last season.

Forbus impressed coaches and players with his dedication, intelligence, and positive attitude and earned a place for himself as a valuable middle inning relief pitcher in both years with the program.

He showed enough promise that in the first week of March, he signed early with NAIA school Kansas Wesleyan University, where several COS Eagles baseball players have gone on to play in recent years.

Thielman said that RJ has been a joy to coach the past two years and said he loved watching him grow as both a player and a person.

“He’s just a great person, student, and teammate,” Thielman said.  "I don’t think anyone on the team ever said a negative thing about him. I can’t say enough good things about him. I loved the way he came here and embraced being at the school and living here.”

Thielman added that Forbus and his entire family fell in love with the area and COS and that RJ’s youngest sister plans to enroll at COS this fall as a freshman.

What made RJ such an asset to the team at COS, his coach said, was the way he always led by example, was always helpful and encouraging of other players, and had an excellent mind for the game and put in a lot of time and effort to become a better player,

“He loves baseball and understands s the game so well,” Thielman stated. “He always knew his role. No situation was ever too big for him, and he was always ready to go in and compete.”

He recalled a game last year when the squad was down big against fellow Golden Valley Conference team Shasta College.

Forbus came in and gave the squad a spark pitching three scoreless innings, as the Eagles rallied to earn the win.“We could have rolled over, but we didn’t and battled back,” he said.

RJ said that was a memorable game for him and said it was the turning point that proved he could pitch on the college level.

Theilman said what makes RJ an intriguing player is he is still quite young “and is still developing and is continually improving and getting better as a pitcher.”

During his time at COS, Thielman said that RJ became a more consistent pitcher and now can throw in the 85 MPH range. While Forbus pitched in middle relief at COS, Theilman believes that he has the tools and smarts to eventually become a solid starting pitcher.

Forbus said that he loved the beauty and small-town environment during his time at COS, as well as the friendliness of the people he met and the close bonds he formed with members of the baseball team.

RJ said that it was tough that the season ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that he and his teammates were unable to finish the year. He is currently at home in Las Vegas finishing his COS studies online.

“It still doesn't feel real,” he said. Forbus said that a COS teammate and good friend of his form last season, John Downey, is now playing at Kansas Wesleyan, and is looking forward to being reunited with him.

He said the school is a great fit for him and is excited to be able to move on and play baseball on the four-year level.

“I’m excited to go down there and play, and to have this opportunity,” he said.

RJ expressed deep gratitude to coach Thielman and assistant coach Jacob Wilson for all they have done for him and helping him develop as a baseball player.

“I’m just grateful for COS giving me the chance to play baseball,” he said. “The coaches helped me become a better player and a better person. COS has been an awesome place for me.”