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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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Page 82 of 88

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 83 quite as good." Andrews, though, had to labor through the end of the season. After being stellar in a couple early-sea- son games, like his nine-strikeout game at Texas State in the opener, the complete game shutout at SEMO or the 10 Ks at Santa Clara in 7 2/3 shutout innings, Andrews felt a tweak at the end of his Iowa start in the Big Ten opener. He'd scattered six hits in six shutout innings as Purdue won 4-1, but he'd strained a hip flexor. In his next start, at Ohio State, he gave up six earned runs in only three innings, but publicly cit- ed bad weather — it was miserably cold, rainy and windy that late-March day in Columbus — as a contributor to his poor performance. It led to a rough April patch, before Andrews recovered enough to pick up a cou- ple of critical Big Ten wins to help Purdue to the conference tournament for the first time since 2012. "It wasn't a serious injury but was a nagging injury, so I would compensate for it," Andrews said, "whether I was throwing and wasn't using my legs or wasn't extending all the way or opening a little bit and being less accurate. That's why my walk numbers went up. I wasn't disciplined enough to focus on my mechanics every throw, so natural- ly you change a little bit when you're feeling a little pinch." But Andrews never missed a start. And that doesn't shock those who know him best. Brody Andrews, Tanner's older brother by two years, has seen the ferocity with which the younger Andrews attacks competitions. Nothing gets in Tanner's the way. When Tanner was 10, he hurt his hand in a pee wee football game, yet he finished it out, only going to the hos- pital for X-rays after. It was broken. In high school, Tanner was hurt in a game, but didn't want to sit, instead yelling at a trainer on the sideline, pleading with her to let him back in. "He obviously had a concussion, but she took his helmet away from him, because he kept trying to grab it and run back out on the field," Brody said. "He won't stop. Ever." Brody felt the brunt of that, too. One-on-one basketball games in the driveway would last well frequently past dark, requiring the cars to be stra- tegically placed with their headlights on to illuminate the court. Those games would last for hours, because Tanner re- fused to go inside until he'd beaten Brody. "We'd get in arguments and I was bigger than him, but he'd get right back up and keep going at it the whole time," said Brody Andrews, who was a catcher at Grand Valley State the last two seasons. "You can't stop the kid. I'd ei- ther have to knock him out or our parents would get in- volved. No matter the sport, basketball, football, anything. No matter how many times I beat him, he'd keep going until he'd beat me, and then he'd let me hear about it. "I loved it. It was always fun growing up with him. He's always been a competitor." Tanner Andrews is an incredible athlete, too. He was a three-sport star at Tippecanoe Valley, playing football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and was MVP of all three as a senior. Andrews still holds the Vikings' single-game basket- ball program record for points, scoring 51 during a senior season in which he averaged 20 and was second-team all- Purdue Athletics Andrews started his senior season as Purdue's ace strongly, striking out 17 batters in his first 13-plus innings.

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