YOKOHAMA, Japan – Former Tusculum University pitcher Brandon Dickson was awarded a silver medal as a member of the United States national baseball team. Team USA was defeated 2-0 by hosts Japan in the gold medal game on Saturday.
Dickson helped Team USA set a 4-2 Olympic record when the Americans beat Israel and Korea in the group game but lost 7-6 in additional innings to Japan in the knockout round. Team USA bounced back with consecutive wins over the Dominican Republic and Korea, reaching the gold medal game and rematch against Japan.
Dickson made his Olympic debut in the opening game against Israel, where he gave up a goal and put a strikeout in his only shutout inning of work.
He was the first out of the bullpen at the first meeting with Japan as he completed 1.1 innings, allowed a run and a hit in a no-decision. When he was removed from the game, the Americans led 6-3 before the host nation took the lead and scored a run in the ninth and tenth innings.
Dickson threw a goalless inning in Team USA’s triumph over the Dominican Republic while avoiding two field errors in the frame.
In his three appearances at the Olympic tournament, he achieved a earned run average of 2.70, where he threw 59 pitches in 3.1 innings, two hits, a run, a walk and a strikeout allowed.
Dickson has appeared in 10 games with the US national team, where he has a earned run average of 3.09 with three saves, two walks and 16 strikeouts in his 11.2 innings on the mound.
At the WBSC Premier12 2019 in Tokyo, he led the tournament with parades (3) and the team with 11 strikeouts. For his efforts, he has earned a place on the WBSC All-World Team. He followed with a 2.70 ERA in two appearances in the 2021 Olympic qualification.
The product from Montgomery, Alabama, has 14 professional campaigns under its belt, including the first seven within the St. Louis Cardinals organization, which hired him in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from Tusculum.
In his only season with Tusculum in 2006, Dickson went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA. His 24 appearances in Tusculum are the second most in a season and earned him the honor of the South Atlantic Conference All tournament.
Dickson played two separate stints with St. Louis in 2011 and 2012. He appeared in eight games for St. Louis and scored an ERA of 4.91 in his 14.2 innings with no decisions. He recorded 13 strikeouts and made his only major league start on September 1, 2011 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
He made 174 minor league appearances in seven seasons, majoring with the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) from 2010 to 2012. In 77 appearances and 75 starts for Memphis, he recorded 24 wins with a 3.59 ERA and 365 strikeouts in 465, 2 innings. At all minor levels, he has posted a 3.73 ERA with 663 strikeouts in 913.1 innings. In 2010 and 2012 he was a two-time All-Star of the Pacific Coast League in Memphis. In 2010 he was also an All-Star of the MiLB.com St. Louis Cardinals Organizational.
From 2013 to 20, Dickson was one of the top pitchers in the Nippon Professional League in Japan, where he played eight seasons with the Orix Buffaloes. He posted a 3.32 career ERA of 49 wins and 34 saves in the last two years since moving to the bullpen. He logged 892.1 innings with 673 strikeouts.
Before the Olympics, Dickson returned to the Cardinals organization, where he signed a free agent contract in June and was assigned to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, where he completed six missions.