It's not every day a baseball player pitches a complete game and hits for the cycle.
Sports Illustrated felt the same way.
The nation's premier weekly sports magazine honored Gordon Lee senior Tucker Bradley in its "Faces in the Crowd" section of this week's issue. Bradley, who is an Auburn University signee, was recognized for his eye-popping performance April 21 in a 14-1, five-inning rout of Darlington in Rome, Ga.
"I've looked at Sports Illustrated all my life and wondered how people got in there and what they had to do," Bradley said Friday. "To be in it is really an honor. It's crazy to think about."
In Gordon Lee's regular-season finale, Bradley singled in the first inning, doubled in the second inning and tripled in the third. In the fourth inning, he went to the plate a home run shy of the cycle.
"On my triple, I hit a line drive in the gap, and I saw the outfielder barely miss it," he said. "I knew I had a chance once I legged out the triple, and I knew that all I needed was another at-bat. At that time, we were close to run-ruling them, so another at-bat was all I was hoping for.
"There were two outs when I was on deck in the fourth inning, and the guy in front of me walked. The pitcher got to 3-0, and if that next one had been in the dirt, I was swinging to get another pitch. My coach told me to swing away on the 3-0, and I got a good pitch I could handle."
Bradley, who was a guest Friday on "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM, committed to Auburn two years ago as an outfielder but said coaches now want to look at his pitching as well. Sports Illustrated highlighted Bradley's single-game feat and pointed out his season-ending .552 batting average and 1.12 earned run average.
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.