PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Former Tusculum University pitcher Brandon Dickson and Team USA Baseball Team have punched their ticket for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Team USA posted a perfect 4-0 record at last week’s 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation Baseball Americas Qualifying Event, including Saturday’s 4-2 win over Venezuela at Clover Park.
During the tournament, Dickson made two relief appearances where he posted 3.1 innings of work and scattered one run on three hits, zero walks and accounted for four strikeouts.
Team USA also posted victories over Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Canada during the tournament. Dickson worked two perfect innings in Team USA’s 7-1 opening win over Nicaragua as the bullpen combined for four hitless/scoreless innings.
Dickson has appeared in seven games with the U.S. National Team where he has a 3.24 earned run average with three saves, one walk and 15 strikeouts in his 8.1 innings on the mound. At the 2019 WBSC Premier12 in Tokyo, he led the tournament in saves (3) and the team with 11 strikeouts. For his efforts, he earned a spot on the WBSC All-World Team.
The Montgomery, Alabama product has 14 professional campaigns under his belt, including the first seven within the St. Louis Cardinals organization, which signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Tusculum in 2006.
Dickson played two separate stints with St. Louis in 2011 and again in 2012. He appeared in eight games for St. Louis, posting a 4.91 ERA in his 14.2 innings of work with no decisions. He recorded 13 strikeouts and made his lone major league start on Sept. 1, 2011, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
He made 174 Minor League appearances across seven seasons, the majoring with the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) from 2010-2012. In 77 appearances and 75 starts for Memphis, he recorded 24 wins with a 3.59 ERA and 365 strikeouts in 465.2 innings pitched. Across all levels of the minors, he has a 3.73 ERA with 663 strikeouts in 913.1 innings pitched.
From 2013-20, Dickson was one of the top pitchers in the Nippon Professional League in Japan where he played eight seasons with the Orix Buffaloes. He logged a 3.32 career ERA where he posted 49 wins and 34 saves, those coming over the past two years since making the move to the bullpen. He logged 892.1 innings with 673 strikeouts.
In his only season at Tusculum in 2006, Dickson went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA. His 24 mound appearances are tied for the second most in a season at Tusculum and earned him South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament honors.
The six-team Olympic baseball tournament will begin July 27 at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Yokohama Baseball Stadium. The Olympic field currently consists of the U.S., Israel, Japan and Mexico. The final spot in the tournament will be decided following the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico later this month.