KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville native and Tennessee baseball pitcher known as the “Volunteer Fireman” made history Sunday when he threw the fastest pitch in recorded college baseball history.
Redshirt junior relief pitcher Ben Joyce threw the last four innings of the Volunteers series-clinching victory over the Auburn Tigers on Sunday. While facing infielder Cole Foster in the top of the eighth inning, he delivered a blistering fastball clocked at 105.5 mph.
The pitch is the fastest ever recorded in college baseball, breaking Joyce’s own record set earlier in the season against South Carolina. The 105.5 mph pitch would be the second-fastest in recorded Major League Baseball history, just 0.3 mph behind Aroldis Chapman’s 2010 record of 105.8.
According to UTSports.com, Joyce threw 28 pitches during Sunday’s game that were clocked at 103 mph or faster. Of those 28 pitches, 15 were 104 mph or faster and three were 105 mph or faster.
A graduate of Farragut High School in Knoxville, Joyce transferred to Tennessee from Walters State Community College ahead of the 2021 season but did not play due to rehabilitation from offseason surgery. Joyce has pitched 21 total relief innings this season, giving up just nine hits and two earned runs while dealing 38 strikeouts.
Sunday’s win saw the Vols record improve to 40-4 on the season, including a 19-2 record in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee remains the No.1-ranked team in college baseball according to D1Baseball.com, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.