Tennessee’s Ben Joyce hurls fastest pitch in college baseball history, is your new flamethrower-armed god-man
All across the MLB, home runs are down. When the new ball isn’t flying at batters’ heads, it’s not flying at all. The shift remains and minor league batters are now being punched out for taking too long in the box. It seems that after years of juiced balls and casual sign stealing, the scales are tipping back toward defense. All the game needs is one last little nudge, and that nudge just might be Tennessee's Ben Joyce.
This weekend, the Tennessee flamethrower put on one of the most intimidating college pitching performances in recent memory. Facing 19th-ranked Auburn, Joyce set up shop with his triple-digit fastball and went to work, striking out six while allowing just one hit in four innings of work. But it was one fastball in the top of the 7th inning that drew the most attention …
105.5 mph. That is the fastest recorded pitch in the history of college baseball. Full stop. It’s also the second fastest in baseball history, pro or otherwise, clocking in a shade behind the 105.8 mph fastball Aroldis Chapman threw as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.
This wasn’t an anomaly in the time-space continuum either. Joyce threw 33 fastballs on Sunday. 28 of them were above 103 mph. Nearly half were above 104 mph. This is staggering stuff.
Goodness gracious god almighty. Joyce, who had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and sat out in 2021, has returned a veritable cyborg in 2022. He’s struck out 38 batters in 21 innings of work this season, holding opposing batters to a .125 average. His arrow is pointed way, way up and at the right time too, with the MLB Draft just over eight weeks away. Come July, Joyce will be mowing down batters in a Major League system somewhere, so if you like a little offense with your baseball, enjoy whatever is left while it lasts.