BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – McCade Brown and Braydon Tucker are both impressive numbers on the mound. The two tall Indiana jugs have large arms and an even larger presence.
On Saturday night, they combined for Indiana’s first no-hit in more than 37 years. Brown beat the first five innings and Tucker the last four, and all celebrated afterwards, the first no-no since Indiana wiped out Rose-Hulman back in 1984.
No one celebrated more than Brown and Tucker, for neither of them had ever been involved in a no-hit before, not on any level.
“I was close to high school once, but I ended up giving a hit, so this is the first time,” said Brown, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Normal, Ill. “I was just trying to work through each pitch. and stay on them. ”
The same for Tucker, who has only had one high school that almost misses himself.
“To be honest, I had no idea we even had a say. I did not even look at the scoreboard,” said the 6-foot-3 Tucker from Brazil, Ind. “I was close to my final year in sections. I had 20 strikes in seven innings, but apart from no, I have not been close. One of my friends at (Northview) High School, Luke Lancaster, he was one year younger.” ‘
It was a strange no-hitter, because Brown went seven of the 22 strokes he faced during his five innings, and kept working out of trouble. He went at least one batter in each of his first four innings, including three in the second and two in the third.
“The mess is not ideal, but he had enough to get through it today,” Indiana coach Jeff Mercer said. “You’re going to have a bit of a mess, hopefully not through the ride, but he competed enough and localized enough to train from these situations. He’s growing up and maturing to handle these situations.”
Brown, who is now 4-2 with a 2.18 earned running average, struck out nine, and still leads the big ten with 58 punch-outs a year. He threw 101 places in five innings, and Mercer turned to Tucker, who had only pitched three times this season, posting a 6.23 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.
But he had his best stuff on Saturday, throwing the last four laps and allowing only one walk during his season-high 54 places. He got the last two outs on a double play in the ninth after a mistake.
“I wanted to get ahead in the count early and tried to miss the barrels to make weekly contact and keep the ball in the infield,” Tucker said. “It felt good to be out there for a long time in a game. It just felt soothing to know that I can still go that long.
“I do not even know how to describe it, but it felt great because I worked on the tail to get it back. It was a real confidence booster.”
Lost in the no-hitter story was the clutch provided by Hoosiers, especially freshman Kip Fougerousse and Morgan Colopy. They both had great days.
They helped inflate the game into fourth, and ended a pointless tie when Fougerousse, a freshman from Linton, Ind., Had a big two-out, two-run single. Colopy, a freshman from Centerville, Ohio, then followed with a two-run homer.
in the sixth, Fougerousse singlet and scored on Colopy’s two-run single. Colopy was 3-for-4 on the day, his first three-hit day for Indiana. Fougerousse was 2-for-4, his second straight game with two hits, and increased his average from .095 to .207.
Indiana is now 13-7 and a game behind Nebraska in the Big Ten table. Indiana and Illinois are scheduled to play again on Sunday, but the weather could be a problem.
It’s been a wild series so far for the Hoosiers, who won Friday night’s match on a walkoff homer by catcher Collins Hopkins.
Related stories about Indiana baseball
- HOPKINS GETS IT OFF: Indiana catcher Collin Hopkins hit a two-run homer at the bottom of the ninth to give the Hoosiers a 6-4 walk-off win against in the series opener Friday night. CLICK HERE
- GREAT TEN STANDING, SCHEDULE: Here’s the current Big Ten baseball table, plus this weekend’s schedule around the league. CLICK HERE
- MERCER PLEASURE TO BE HOME: After losing five straight games away from home, Indiana coach Jeff Mercer is happy to be back in Hoosiers’ home ball park for a weekend series with Illinois. CLICK HERE
- TOM BREW COLUMN: It was a very bad weekend in Ohio State for Indiana, which was swept in a series of four games, but that’s all it is – just a weekend. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is Indiana’s complete 44-hour schedule, which consists of all the Big Ten games this season. Dates and links to previous game stories are all in the file. CLICK HERE