GoVols247 — "I was just kind of standing there and he asked," Halvorsen said. "Some of us are superstitious, so I was just standing in the same spot and we were doing alright, and he was just kind of sitting there. I don't know if he was just making conversation or if he really wanted to know, but that's what he was asking me."
What Burns wanted to know that the ESPN broadcast caught on camera was how Halvorsen gripped his changeup. Burns wasn't getting his changeup down the way he wanted to, so he went to his fellow bullpen-mate for advice.
Halvorsen showed Burns how he keeps three fingers on the seams and one on the bottom of the baseball, and Burns rolled with it.
The 6-foot-4 flame-thrower went on to record nine strikeouts, tying Todd Helton (vs. Clemson in 1995) for the most in a College World Series game by a Tennessee pitcher. Burns threw six scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits and no runs.
"It was a little bit different than mine, but his grip was working for me," Burns said. "This game is a game of adjustments, so when one thing isn't working you can always go to the next. Throwing a pitch like that just opens up many doors. Can throw inside, up, down."
This is insane. Chase Burns, Tennessee's top weapon out of the bullpen, went to his teammate Seth Halvorsen in the middle of the Vols' College World Series elimination game against Stanford on Monday and ended up adopting Halvorsen's changeup grip minutes before he went out to the mound and threw six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.
I get that slightly altering the grip of a pitch you've thrown thousands of times is clearly doable for some guys, but pitchers are creatures of habit. Burns didn't even have one off-day bullpen session to try this out or anything. He warmed up, went out to the mound and shoved it down Stanford's throat using a pitch he had never thrown before. That is the most baller shit I've ever heard.
If you haven't watched Burns pitch, turn on one of Tennessee's next (hopefully) several games and get a look at this kid before he's a top five pick in next year's MLB Draft. His stuff is absolutely electric. I look forward to him debuting another filthy pitch he's never thrown before in his next appearance.