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View Full Version : Bryan Fuller pitches 21 shutout innings in 26 hours



robmadden1
05-18-2009, 02:05 AM
Bryan Fuller told his Campbellsville University coaches he was never going to play baseball professionally, so he was willing to sacrifice his arm.

With much debate and reluctance, but knowing what was at stake and what their other options were, his coaches acquiesced.

Fuller, a senior, ended up pitching 21 shutout innings in 26 hours as Campbellsville (Ky.) advanced to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, where on Friday it will face Lee (Tenn.).

Campbellsville had fallen into the loser's bracket in its NAIA super regional, and needed to win three straight to get the World Series berth. Against Lindenwood on Thursday, Fuller, who throws sidearm, pitched three scoreless innings for the save.

With just 25 minutes between games, Campbellsville's coaches decided to start Fuller in the next game, against Kansas Wesleyan, which had won 26 straight. Fuller, according to assistant coach Jake McKinley, "is an undersized kid" who had started only once previously in four seasons.

"We were nearly out of pitching and he looked comfortable," McKinley said. "We told Fuller we would need him to make his second career start and if he could give us three or four innings, that would be great, and it was in the biggest game in the history of our program against a team that had won 26 straight games."

Fuller ended up pitching a complete game as Campbellsville snapped Kansas Wesleyan's winning streak with a 11-0 victory.

That put Campbellsville in the final. According to McKinley, the coaches were prepared to start their No. 1 pitcher on two days' rest, but Fuller wanted the start.

"We told him no way, because we didn't want to hurt him ... He just threw 12 innings the day before," McKinley said. "He told us that he was a senior that will never play pro ball and he was going to be an accountant in just a few weeks. He said he didn't care about his arm and told us he will give us a chance to win."

And he did, using just 77 pitches in his second consecutive complete-game shutout as Campbellsville (39-10) beat Kansas Wesleyan again 4-0, giving the Tigers their first NAIA World Series appearance in school history.

"We're not sure yet, but we are not opposed to using him in any role," McKinley said. "At this point, we'd be fools not to start him."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=4171780

RFS62
05-18-2009, 07:53 AM
I love the kid's guts. But I hate the idea that the coaches would go along with this.

If he permanently injures his arm or shoulder, he'll live with that the rest of his life. Now, the macho thing to say there would be "but if he doesn't pitch, the pain of that will also be with him the rest of his life".

This kid isn't rushing a pillbox. This isn't war. His coaches should protect him from himself.

Gallen5862
05-18-2009, 10:40 AM
My question is why Bryan Fuller was not removed sooner in the 11-0 win? He could have been pulled and given some rest.

mace
05-18-2009, 11:03 AM
Pardon the self-aggrandizement, but I've been waiting to tell somebody about this for 40 years. I once pitched 34 innings over four days. We had six games in four days at the end of the season and had to win them all to move on to the playoffs. (This was summer ball, high school age.) I pitched 7 (that was all we played) and won, then 7 and won again, then on the third day had to go 13. It was on our home field with a very, very short fence in right, and in the 13th the leadoff hitter for Fairfield, Iowa, was a good pull-hitting lefty. I walked him. Our coach was a linebacker at the local college (this was Kirksville, Mo., where the tornado hit last week), and he stomped out to the mound and growled, "What'd you walk him for?" Sheesh. The next guy hit into a double play, and we were still alive for the fourth day. I was throwing the junkiest of my junk by that time, and around the third or fourth inning they pounded back-to-back-to-back home runs, two of them over that 240-foot fence (I'm guessing) in right.

Like Bryan Fuller, I had no baseball future, and I'm glad I did it. I still have the ball that the league commissioner gave me. And the memory.

Dude Rock
05-18-2009, 11:43 AM
Pardon the self-aggrandizement, but I've been waiting to tell somebody about this for 40 years. I once pitched 34 innings over four days. We had six games in four days at the end of the season and had to win them all to move on to the playoffs. (This was summer ball, high school age.) I pitched 7 (that was all we played) and won, then 7 and won again, then on the third day had to go 13. It was on our home field with a very, very short fence in right, and in the 13th the leadoff hitter for Fairfield, Iowa, was a good pull-hitting lefty. I walked him. Our coach was a linebacker at the local college (this was Kirksville, Mo., where the tornado hit last week), and he stomped out to the mound and growled, "What'd you walk him for?" Sheesh. The next guy hit into a double play, and we were still alive for the fourth day. I was throwing the junkiest of my junk by that time, and around the third or fourth inning they pounded back-to-back-to-back home runs, two of them over that 240-foot fence (I'm guessing) in right.

Like Bryan Fuller, I had no baseball future, and I'm glad I did it. I still have the ball that the league commissioner gave me. And the memory.

Good story.

Alot of youg'ins don't realize that the old time b-ball players weren't pampered like todays stars.

mace
05-18-2009, 12:13 PM
It's an issue I've been fascinated with. Until relief specialists came into vogue, starters would commonly throw in the vicinity of 300 innings a year, often in four-man rotations. Complete games were routine. And the guys who threw them often lasted long enough to win more than 200 games. Of course, there are countless stories of pitching prodigies who were never heard from after their arms were ruined in the minor leagues. So it works both ways. But there's one thing I just can't get past.

Near as I can tell, the modern pitcher who lasted longer than any other was Satchel Paige. And near as I can tell, the modern pitcher who pitched the most often was also Satchel Paige. For all those years in the Negro Leagues, his routine, roughly, was to pitch three or so innings just about every day. It just seems that his example goes way beyond coincidence.