Patrick Mahomes’ Only College Pitch Outing Was Awful
Justin Fletcher, a second baseman for Northern Illinois in 2015, remembers some things after playing baseball at Texas Tech that year.
First, he remembers NIU getting run over in a series. He also recalled a random at-bat in the ninth inning of a game due to a weird reaction afterwards.
A young pitcher came in, threw 15 pitches and couldn’t find home plate. He only threw four strikes. Fletcher was the third batter to face the freshman pitcher, and he walked and took his base. He took off his elbow pad, looked for the third base coach’s sign and saw the Red Raiders pitcher was out. He received a standing ovation from Texas Tech fans.
“I was like, ‘Why the hell are they giving him a standing ovation?’ It was the weirdest thing,” Fletcher said from his baseball facility in central Illinois. “I got back in the dugout and asked, ‘What was up with them? giving him a standing ovation, were they being mean to him? My teammates were like, ‘He’s the starting quarterback of the football team.’
That pitcher/quarterback was Patrick Mahomes, who no longer pitched for Texas Tech and retired from college baseball with an infinity ERA. There’s actually something the reigning NFL Super Bowl MVP couldn’t master.
The Age of Infinity by Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes’ father was a major league pitcher for 11 seasons and has 42 wins to his name. Patrick II has one of the most famous cannon arms in the sport, which he shows off as a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mahomes wasn’t bad at baseball and yet uses some of the training techniques and equipment in his football career. He pitched in the 90s as a pitcher in high school, once threw a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. But he made the right choice by choosing football.
He pitched once for the Texas Tech team. He remembers it, although he misremembered the details.
According to Texas Tech’s box score, Mahomes’ only appearance as a pitcher came in the ninth inning on February 21, 2015. The Red Raiders were leading 6-0, but thanks to Mahomes’ exit, that lead was soon wiped out.
“I walked in the game, walked the first guy, I believe, hit the second guy, gave up a double and they had a run,” Mahomes said Wednesday during his availability at the Super Bowl. “Then I was taken out of the game.”
Close, but not exact. According to the official record, Mahomes walked a batter, hit one, then walked Fletcher before he was fired.
“Northern Illinois 9th – Davis, Z. to cf for Hargrove. Mahomes II to p for Patterson. RUSSELL, C. pinch shot for BOYLE, J.. RUSSELL, C. walked (3-1 BBBKB). ZIEGLER, M. hit on throw (3-2 BKBF); RUSSELL, C. went second. FLETCHER, J. walked (3-1 BBBKB); ZIEGLER, M. advanced to second; RUSSELL, C. placed third. Thompson to p for Mahomes II.
Fletcher confirmed he was untouched by Mahomes.
“He didn’t give a brace,” Fletcher said. “He just couldn’t find the area.”
All three base runners Mahomes put on base scored. Texas Tech had to hold on to a 6-4 win. Mahomes’ vocational college ERA isn’t even a number. Mahomes also had two bats in college and went 0 for 2 with one strikeout.
“I think I have like an infinity ERA, which probably isn’t good,” Mahomes said. “It’s not something I’m very proud to have on my record.”
Mahomes’ sports career went well.
A brush with fame
Fletcher is a football fan, but until last year he never put two and two together and realized that the wild Texas Tech pitcher who received the standing ovation was Patrick Mahomes.
Fletcher got a call about it, which jolted his memory. Now he’s said “my buddies know” and that a Twitter mention of Mahomes’ college baseball outing was recently sent to a group chat among his friends.
“Really, it wasn’t something like, ‘Holy cow this guy is throwing 95,'” Fletcher said. “He was just your average Division I pitcher who can throw 90-92, and he didn’t have good command.”
The kids at his baseball facility like football and Fletcher said when he asked them about the Super Bowl, they all said the Chiefs would win because no one can beat Mahomes. Most of them don’t know that Fletcher had fun with the NFL’s biggest star.
“I’ve said a few, especially this week,” Fletcher said. “That’s pretty cool to think about. There’s only been three people who’ve done it in a Division I baseball game.”
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