By Lori Lyons
Jaden Brasseaux just couldn’t understand why his teammates were acting so weird in the dugout on that steamy Saturday night at Pete Goldsby Field in Baton Rouge.
Brasseaux was feeling really good about his pitching performance against the Acadiana Cane Cutters in his first home start for the Baton Rouge Rougarou. There was a big crowd that seemed to be really into the game and, as the game went on, Brasseaux thought it was one his best outings of the summer for the Texas Collegiate League team made up of college players from all over.
Brasseaux, who hails from Eunice, La., and just completed a stint at Nunez Community College, was pumped but still asking his teammates for any advice they had to help him pitch better.
“They’d just say, ‘Nah, you’re doing great,’” Brasseaux said. “Then they’d walk away from me. They weren’t talking to me. I didn’t know if I made them mad or something.”
It wasn’t until he went out for the sixth inning that Brasseaux finally understood what was happening.
“I looked up at the board and I was like, ‘Oh, wait. I’ve got a no-hitter going,” he said.
But, as usually happens, as soon as he knew it, the baseball gods blew it. Acadiana’s Jaxon Daigre blooped a single over second base to end the no-hitter.
“That’s how it went,” Brasseaux said.
It still was a strong outing for the 22-year old right-hander, who gave up one run on two hits and struck out four in a 4-2 win. And it’s part of a solid summer for Brasseaux, who is 3-2 with a 2.74 earned run average and 32 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.
“Jaden has been the glue of our staff all summer,” said Rougarou coach Wes Theriot. “(He is) extremely consistent and is able to work a solid 3-pitch mix every time out and does his job. (He) always gives his team a chance to win.”
“I just hoped to get some more looks from colleges, which I have so far,” Brasseaux said. “I wanted to work on becoming a better athlete, a better person and a better teammate. I wanted to come in and work on, as a pitcher, making adjustments, instead of game to game or inning to inning, pitch to pitch and I’ve succeeded at that.”
It also has been one of the peaks of quite the roller coaster ride for Brasseaux, who finished high school in 2018 and is a little amazed that he’s still playing.
“I thought I’d go play my four years and see what happened,” he said.
After high school, Brasseaux spent one semester at Baton Rouge Community College before transferring to Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. After a year there he was offered a chance to return home to play for Nunez Community College. Then Covid hit and everything shut down.
Things finally returned to normal and Brasseaux returned to form. He was the Most Valuable Pitcher for Nunez in the spring of 22, throwing 20 appearances, 57 innings and 60 strikeouts.
After his Rougarou summer, Brasseaux will head to Southern University in the fall.
“It’s been one hell of a ride,” he said. “Honestly, it’s something I never dreamed of. I’m going to be 23 in November and I still have two more years of ball to play. If you had told me I’d be 23 and still playing, I’d say either I’d be in the pros or you’d be lying.”