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Harrisburg’s Tanner Brown has record-setting baseball career at Augie

Vikings lefty holds the career strikeout record for Vikings
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:06 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Growing up there was a fellow left handed pitcher who inspired Tanner Brown.

“Watching Clayton Kershaw pitch. I kind of wanted to be like him so I kind of decided to try throwing a nice big curve ball like he had. I basically just kind of tried to be like him.” Brown says.

Though he didn’t have many other comparisons to the Dodger ace coming out of Harrisburg, he did have a big fan in his grandpa Denny. “He always keeps a nice tally and he always likes to tell me my numbers and where I’m at.” Tanner says.

And belief from Augustana coach Tim Huber who pitched him as a freshman during the Vikings 2018 national championship season. “Back then he was really skinny, needed to gain weight, baby faced. He just really has seen his body change and that’s where his progress has come.” Huber says. “My freshman year I definitely had to rely more on my off speed and actually learning how to pitch to guys rather than being able to just throw fastballs right by guys. I still kind of try to pitch like that now-a-days.” Brown says.

What Huber couldn’t have imagined, though, was that Brown would become his program’s all-time strikeout leader. “The strikeout numbers has been a little bit surprising to me to be very honest. Any time someone that can spin a breaking ball and throw it over the plate for a strike, and then he throws hard enough that you kind of can’t sit on the breaking ball, it’s a tough at-bat.” Huber says.

On March 26th Tanner struck out a single game record 17 in just seven innings, in the process becoming the career leader in punchouts, a mark that currently stands at 252. “He doesn’t look like he’s going to blow it by you but that he does. He’s going to make you swing and miss with a curveball and slider. I mean, it doesn’t matter who you are, he’ll dominate you on the mound. I’ve learned that in the batting cages too.” Augustana Junior Will Olson says.

Along the way he’s thrown a perfect game, giving his grandpa. “He really wanted it (the strikeout record) and he was really excited when I got it which made it even more awesome. It’s the best feeling when you’re a pitcher is being able to just not have to rely on anyone else but yourself and being able to strike him out, have him walk to the dugout thinking about it. That’s my favorite feeling in the world!” Tanner says.

...and Augie fans plenty to keep track of!

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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