Posted: 2:57 pm Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Indelible influence: Palm Beach State star J.D. Underwood carries his late father’s message with him 

By James @littlenomads

There’s a baseball truism J.D. Underwood’s father told him, meant to remind him that he should allow no hardship to get in the way of success.

He repeats the phrase every day.

Underwood, a Palm Beach Gardens High graduate and a sophomore at Palm Beach State, is starring as a junior college first baseman and pitcher.

As a left-handed hitter, he’s batting .433 with two homers, 17 RBI, four doubles and eight runs scored. As a right-handed pitcher, he’s 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 21 innings. He’s allowed 16 hits, with 21 strikeouts and four walks. As a freshman, he was the Southern Conference player of the year.

“He’s probably the best hitter in the state,” Palm Beach State coach Kyle Forbes said. “He has three big-league pitches, right now. He’s such a complete player. We’re lucky to have him.”

Underwood,who will pitch Thursday at Broward Community College, will play next year for the University of Miami if he doesn’t get drafted by one of the 25 major-league organizations that have come to the Panthers’ Lake Worth campus.

While Underwood chases his dream, he remembers the words his father told him.

Click here to read the full story from The Post‘s Matt Porter.

Palm Beach State star J.D. Underwood draws inspiration from his late father. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach State star J.D. Underwood draws inspiration from his late father. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)