From 2010-12, Chapman University pitcher Brian Rauh ‘16 put together a career that will live in the record books for decades. His dominant start to the 2010s has led to a spot on D3baseball.com’s All-Decade First Team.
Rauh’s legendary career resulted in three First Team All-American awards and a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pitcher of the Year honor. After his junior season, Rauh was drafted in the 11th round by the Washington Nationals.
“It’s kind of surreal to think that my college experience is one of the top in the nation over the last decade,” Rauh said after learning of the All-Decade recognition. “I’m still kind of shocked. I didn’t really expect to get that but I’m pretty excited about it.”
The recognition didn’t come as a surprise for anyone that was around Chapman baseball in the early part of the decade. From the first moment he climbed the mound, the Panthers knew they had something special. Over the next several years, Rauh proved to be one of the best to ever take the ball in Chapman history.
“He was as close to automatic as we’ve ever had at Chapman,” Associate Director of Athletics Doug Aiken (who has been at Chapman as a student or employee since 1995). “He was a competitor and tough as nails. I think he credits (head coach Tom Tereschuk) for really bringing out that toughness in him.”
Rauh does credit Tereschuk, pitching coach Dave Edwards and his teammates for pushing him every day to become the dominant pitcher he is now remembered as. With their guidance, he morphed from a high school prospect without too many looks into one of Chapman’s highest MLB Draft picks.
When he was drafted, Rauh had left his mark on the Division III record book as one of the most successful pitchers in Division III history. He posted a 30-1 record with a 1.78 career ERA. He struck out 355 batters while allowing just 5.45 hits per nine innings. He ranked fifth all-time in hits per nine innings and still ranks sixth eight years later.
His 1.78 career ERA ranked in the top-20 all-time in Division III while his 355 career strikeouts (in just three seasons) ranked ninth. Eight years after his last pitch for the Panthers, Rauh is still in the top-30 all-time for Division III in career ERA and 12th in career strikeouts.
“I had no clue,” Rauh responded when asked if he was aware just how special his career was at the time. “I was just out there having fun and playing the game. My goal going into college was to get my degree – Chapman is a great university – and I want to have fun playing baseball while I was doing it.”
As a freshman, Rauh began his career in dominant fashion. He went 11-0 on the mound with a 2.38 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 83.1 innings, resulting in his first All-America selection and the NCBWA Pitcher of the Year honors. He duplicated his record in 2011 while leading the Panthers to the NCAA Division III Championship Series. He was 11-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 113.2 innings. He tossed a Chapman record seven complete games, including a 7-0 complete game win in the NCAA Regionals.
He compiled another 122 strikeouts in 2012 while holding a career-best 1.27 ERA over 92 innings. He tossed two complete games and went 8-1, suffering his only career loss when the Panthers were shutout by Rutgers-Newark. Even in the loss, Rauh struck out 11 batters over seven innings and allowed just two runs on four hits. It was his 31st career start.
After his time dominating Division III, Rauh spent five years in the minor leagues and reached the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate before a string of injuries led to his retirement. Rauh looks back fondly at his time as a professional pitcher but something about his three years at Chapman still stand out. As the owner of the recently launched training program, B Rauhty Baseball, it’s a message he consistently tells the 100 kids he trains.
“I loved pro ball. Pro ball was a lot of fun but there is just something different about college baseball. I tell all the kids that. College baseball – there is just something different about. Everyone is there for the right reasons – to win and be a part of a brotherhood. You can’t replace that.”
Rauh became the fifth Chapman pitcher to earn All-Decade recognition from D3baseball.com. Chapman greats Kurt Yacko, Devin Drag, Buddy Klovstad and Wayde Kitchens all earned the recognition for the 2000s alongside Tereschuk as the Second Team Coach of the Decade.
“It means a lot. I had a really good experience at Chapman with great teammates and coaches. It was a huge part of my life and something I would never trade for anything in the world.”
D3baseball.com and the hosts of The Podcast About Division III Baseball selected the All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director