SEMO pitcher Jason Rackers shares story from roller coaster conference tournament

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KBSI) – Jason Rackers could hardly get out of bed after a restless night last Thursday.

“I got maybe 30 minutes of sleep that night,” he said.

Earlier that day, Rackers was the starting pitcher for SEMO in its opening game of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, which was delayed for five hours after the top of the first inning, the only inning Rackers threw in that game. 

“We just didn’t feel like it was in his best interest to bring him back off that, to throw and get hot, and then sit down for five hours and pitch again,” head coach Andy Sawyers said.

The game finished in the wee hours of Friday morning, and that night, Rackers came down with what he could best describe as a really bad stomach bug. 

It took some convincing for him to go to the hospital and get an IV at around 11:30 Friday morning. 

“My parents came in my room and said that our trainer Mike Patke had gotten some IVs lined up for me,” Rackers said. “It took them a little bit to get me out of bed. I did not want to leave. I was tired. I wanted to sleep. My dad had to convince me pretty hard to get out of bed and get those IVs, but I’m glad he did.” 

Glad, because the next day, Rackers tossed 9 2/3 innings, threw 121 pitches, and earned the win in the conference championship game against top-seeded Belmont. 

“I was one off my personal record. I threw one more pitch in a game back in high school so I was kind of upset that I was one short of that,” Rackers said. “I remember talking to my dad afterwards and saying, ‘Where did that come from? I’ve never done something like that before.’ That was pretty cool to be able to go out there and do that for my team.” 

It was truly a memorable weekend, and one that led the Redhawks to the NCAA Tournament. 

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