TJC pitcher Daniel Brown has been almost perfect this season. On March 14, however, he almost reached the perfection that most pitchers only dream about.
Through his first six starts this season, the freshman from Mount Vernon, TX. was 5-0 with an ERA of 0.23. In 38.1 innings pitched, he had allowed only one earned run.
He has definitely been the ace of the Apaches’ pitching staff. In one game, he almost had a game for the record book.
“Daniel has been a solid starter for us this season,” TJC Head Coach Doug Wren said. “He has given us a chance each time out to win that ballgame. For him to almost reach that accomplishment in that game was such a cool thing to be a part of.
“I hate that he came a couple of outs short, but it was something that our guys were glad to be a part of and it was fun for us to watch, as well.”
The game Wren spoke of came against Arkansas Baptist on March 14. Brown’s line reads that he pitched seven innings, allowed one hit and struck out 11. What it left out, were the dramatics.
Brown entered the final inning with a perfect game. He got the first out and was two outs away from perfection before allowing a single. He did get the next two batters and finished with a one-hit shutout.
“I was just thinking keep it the same,” Brown said about entering that final inning. “Keep it the same as you have the whole game. Let my defense make plays for me. The first out, centerfielder Zane (Otten) made a great play in the gap. Then the next guy pretty much hit the ball in no-man’s land. Nobody could really get to it.”
“It was tough.”
Brown’s statistics for the season, however, make it look like not much has been tough for him this season. In addition to allowing only one earned run in his seven games (six starts), he is averaging almost 11 strikeouts per game and has given up only 17 hits, walked just six and has a team-high three complete games.
“So far, I like how (my season) has been going,” Brown said.
He has been consistent as well. In his first start of the season, against Frank Phillips College on Feb. 9, he struck out 13 in a one-hit shutout. He has allowed three hits or fewer three times.
He has only allowed two runs all season and only one earned. That lone earned run came by Ranger College in a 5-1 TJC victory on March 9.
He has earned NJCAA Division III Player of the Week honors twice – for his season-opening performance against Frank Phillips and then his near-perfect game against Arkansas Baptist.
His presence on the mound also gives confidence to his teammates playing behind him.
“From my point of view, it is awesome to go out there and hit in the lineup with Daniel on the mound,” outfielder Anthony Soriano said. “When you know you have a consistent pitcher doing his job and throwing strikes there is nothing better than playing defense for a pitcher that throws strikes.
TJC was 20-13 after its first 33 games. Wren felt like the team was beginning to hit its stride and was right where it wanted to be in the process of reaching its goal of playing its best baseball in May.
Brown is one of the players giving the team a chance to win every time he takes the mound.