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Indiana Baseball: Brown, Tucker Combine for Hoosiers' First No-Hitter Since 1984

McCade Brown tossed the first five innings and Braydon Tucker was solid through the last four as Indiana tossed a no-hitter in the 8-0 win over Illinois on Saturday night.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – McCade Brown and Braydon Tucker are both imposing figures on the mound. The two tall Indiana pitchers have big arms, and an even bigger presence.

On Saturday night, they combined for Indiana's first no-hitter in more than 37 years. Brown pitched the first five innings and Tucker the last four, and everyone celebrated afterward, the first no-no since Indiana blanked Rose-Hulman back in 1984. 

No one celebrated more than Brown and Tucker though, because neither one of them had ever been involved in a no-hitter before, not at any level.

"I was close in high school one time, but I ended up giving up 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.''

Same for Tucker, who's only had a high school near-miss himself.

"To be honest, I had no clue we even had a no-hitter going. I wasn't even looking at the scoreboard,'' said the 6-foot-3 Tucker from Brazil, Ind. "I was close my senior year in sectionals. I had 20 strikeouts in seven innings, but other than that no, I haven't been close. One my my buddies in (Northview) high school, Luke Lancaster, he had one my junior year.''

It was a strange no-hitter, because Brown walked seven of the 22 batters he faced during his five innings, and was constantly working out of trouble. He walked at least one batter in each of his first four innings, including three in the second and two in the third. 

"The clutter's not ideal, but he had enough to get through it today,'' Indiana coach Jeff Mercer said. "You're going to have some clutter, hopefully not via the walk, but he competed enough and located enough to work out of those situations. He's growing up and maturing to handle those situations.''

Brown, who's now 4-2 with a 2.18 earned run average, struck out nine, and still leads the Big Ten with 58 punch-outs on the year. He threw 101 pitches in five innings, and Mercer turns to Tucker, who had only pitched three times this season, posting a 6.23 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.

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But he had his best stuff on Saturday, pitching the final four innings and allowing just one walk during his season-high 54 pitches. He got the final two outs on a double play in the ninth after an error. 

"I was looking to get ahead in counts early and trying to miss barrels to get week contact and keep the ball in the infield,'' Tucker said. "It felt good to be out there for an extended amount of time in a game. It just felt relieving to know that I can still go that long. 

"I don't even know how to describe it but it felt amazing because I've been working my tail off to get it back. That was a real confidence booster.''

Lost in the no-hitter story was the clutch hitting delivered by the Hoosiers, especially freshmen Kip Fougerousse and Morgan Colopy. They both had huge days.

They helped blow the game open in the fourth, ending a scoreless 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 singled 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, raising his average from .095 to .207.

Indiana is now 13-7 and one game behind Nebraska in the Big Ten standings. Indiana and Illinois are scheduled to play again on Sunday, but weather may be an issue.

It's been a wild series so far for the Hoosiers, who won Friday night's game on a walkoff homer by catcher Collins Hopkins. 

  • HOPKINS WALKS IT OFF: Indiana catcher Collin Hopkins hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Hoosiers a 6-4 walk-off win against in the series opener on Friday night. CLICK HERE
  • BIG TEN STANDINGS, SCHEDULE: Here are the current Big Ten baseball standings, plus the weekend's schedule around the league. CLICK HERE
  • MERCER GLAD TO BE HOME: After losing five straight games on the road, Indiana coach Jeff Mercer is glad to be back in the Hoosiers' home ballpark for a weekend series with Illinois. CLICK HERE
  • TOM BREW COLUMN: It was a really bad weekend at Ohio State for Indiana, which got swept in a four-game series, but that's all it is – just one weekend. CLICK HERE
  • INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is Indiana's complete 44-game schedule, which is made up of all Big Ten games this season. Dates and links to previous game stories are all in the file. CLICK HERE