Story by Noah Baughman / Contributing Writer
Aaron Brown has made a name for himself on Middle Tennessee’s campus and pitcher’s mound in just two years in Murfreesboro, and it is far more than just the throwback mustache.
But who is Aaron Brown and how did a mid-major school like MTSU end up with one of Tennessee’s most highly recruited pitchers?
Brown grew up only 45 minutes from MTSU in Mount Juliet. However, when he was a senior at Mount Juliet High School in the spring of 2017, Brown signed with Vanderbilt University—one of the best baseball programs in the nation. Brown left Vanderbilt a year and a half later at the beginning of 2019. The decision to leave was a painful, but necessary one for Brown.
“That conversation I had with Coach (Tim) Corbin, about how I was going to transfer, was one of the hardest ones I’ve ever had,” Brown said. “I think about it all the time. My exact words to him were, ‘I have four years of baseball left and I want to pitch as much as I can.’ And he helped me out more than he honestly should have. He even said that I could even come back if I wanted to.”
Brown then packed everything he had up in his truck and headed for State College of Florida, a junior college an hour south of Tampa Bay. During the season Brown was receiving calls from the big names of college baseball.
But after a year in Florida, Aaron decided it was time to come home.
“You know it was cool to go to schools like Oklahoma State, or Tulane and even Pitt. But at the end of the day, I wanted to come home to MTSU and help put this school on the map,” he said.
In his first year as a Blue Raider in 2020, Brown was named team captain by his teammates and got his first win in his second outing against Evansville University. Only a couple of weeks after getting that first win, the season was abruptly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the Blue Raiders were headed down to Jackson, Mississippi to play Louisiana Tech.
“We were about three hours into the bus ride, I was thinking about just getting to practice that night. And then about 40 minutes later the coaches got an email and we had to turn the bus around and head back. We were all in shock,” Brown said.
Now a junior, Brown knows not to take anything for granted. This season his statistics have proved just that with four wins and a 3.40 ERA. He is currently sixth in the nation with 61 strikeouts. And on April 6, he was named the Tennessee Sportswriters Associations Pitcher of the Week. The honor came after an impressive outing against conference rival Rice University, where Brown gave up two hits and one run in nine innings of work.
Brown joins top pitchers in college baseball as Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter both received this honor earlier in the season.
Like every other Blue Raider, Brown is aiming for a strong finish to the 2021 season and to put MTSU on the biggest stage in collegiate baseball.
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