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How a Broken Arm led to the Fourth No-Hitter in MTSU Baseball History 

By MTN Sports Reporter: Kyler Parker 

Whether it is writing, eating, or even swinging a bat, MTSU pitcher Chandler Alderman uses his right hand to do so.

He is right-hand dominant in almost everything, but there’s one thing he does well with his left: throwing a baseball. It only took one little accident during his tee-ball years that allowed the natural right-hander to do so. 

  For a right-hand dominant person, a broken right arm can lead to major setbacks. It forces that individual to find ways to manage until they regain their strength in the dominant arm. This can be a long and difficult recovery process for most people, especially at an early age. For Alderman, a broken right arm may have been his biggest blessing. 


When a young Chandler Alderman got the news that he had broken his right arm, all he was worried about was how it would affect his ability to play baseball that spring. Rather than sitting out the season, he decided that he would put a glove on his right hand and throw with his left while he regained strength in his dominant arm.  

  “I wanted to play baseball that year so I played with my left hand, and that’s where it all started,” said Alderman. 


He did not know it then, but that change would spark the beginning of many great things to come in his future. 


Alderman grew up in Poplar Grove, Ill., a small town northeast of Rockford. The town is home to just over 5,000 people and is not well-known as a baseball town. Growing up, Chandler would have to commute over an hour to compete with a competitive travel baseball organization. The 6-foot-5 left-hander attended North Boone High School where he played both football and baseball. It was no secret to the community of Poplar Grove that Chandler was a special athlete. 

“He already looked like a high school varsity player as a 13-year-old throwing in the eighth grade, and that’s when I kind of realized that, okay, this kid might be a little bit different than most of the kids you see,” said North Boone head baseball coach Andrew Baden. 

In his time at North Boone, Alderman served as both the starting quarterback of the football team and was a two-way player for the Vikings baseball team. On the gridiron, he accounted for over 2,000 yards of total offense and 25 touchdowns his senior year, and he also broke North Boone school pitching records in his three seasons on the baseball diamond. His individual achievements and leadership skills had a major impact on the team’s overall success. 


“I challenged him the entire time he was here, and that’s a little bit of how we started to build more of a winning tradition,” said Baden. “Those tough teams that normally would sweep us, and looked past North Boone, we started winning some of those games against the bigger schools in the area and the better schools in the area because he was on the mound those days.” 


His leadership skills have always been on display. Whether it is taking on his role as the “team dad” on a young North Boone squad in 2023 or just leading his peers by example, leadership has always been one of Alderman’s strengths. He is the ultimate locker room guy when it comes to making sure the team never flies too high or too low. Coach Baden said his quiet but confident style of leadership is what allowed him to have such a great locker room presence at North Boone. 


Chandler has had an impact on the community of Poplar Grove in more ways than one. Off the field, he was a member of the honor roll and student council. He also served as student body vice president. In high school, he spent time volunteering as a partner for the school’s unified basketball team, a branch of the Special Olympics for kids who are more severely disabled.  


“Chandler did that for three years in high school, his sophomore through his senior year. It’s one of the things that I’m most proud of him for,” said Coach Baden. “He’s always trying to give and help out other people and he’s not loud about it either. He doesn’t take pictures of it and post it on social media or send it out to the newspaper. He does good because it’s good.” 


Chandler’s achievements on the baseball field allowed him to become the first male athlete from North Boone High School to receive a Division I athletic scholarship. That opportunity almost certainly is attributed to his strong drive and work ethic.  


“The only way that you can have a successful team and a successful program is if your best players are also your hardest workers, and he was. He’s addicted to the weight room, reps all off season. He took no breaks. He was all in from the moment he stepped foot here as a freshman until the day he was done pitching,” said Baden.  


That hard work has carried over to the next level here at MTSU. Alderman chose to make the almost 600-mile trip to MTSU over other programs such as Wichita State, Illinois State, and Hawaii. Alderman has had a strong spring for the Blue Raiders in 2024 with 10 appearances on the mound so far. One of those appearances includes a stellar start against Liberty University on March 23. 


Alderman made the start against the C-USA foe Liberty Flames and was nothing short of spectacular. He started the day stretching out in the indoor facility with the trainer after eating a bagel which held him over until the end of the game. Pitching on an empty stomach is one of the things that allows him to settle in on the mound. Once he made the start, he went the distance and posted the school’s first no-hitter in 20 years, the third individual no-hitter in school history and only the second thrown by a freshman.  


“I just tried to execute every pitch as much as possible, and once I started to get on a little bit of a roll it really helped,” said Alderman. “About the seventh inning is when I noticed that it was a no-hitter, and I don’t know if that stressed me out more or if it made me want to do better.” 


The Blue Raiders won 10-0 in an eight-inning run rule and Alderman’s historical performance earned him Conference USA Pitcher of the Week honors. His success on the mound so far has been much to his own surprise. 


“It’s going better than I expected honestly. I didn’t expect to be where I’m at as a freshman at all, but I’m glad it is,” said Alderman. 


His solid start has not gone unnoticed by his teammates this spring. MTSU team captain, James Sells, has noticed how hard Alderman has worked to get to where he is at. Sells, who saw himself in Alderman’s shoes two years ago, spoke highly about Chandler.  


“Chandler has displayed that he’s a hard-working guy on and off the field. He’s continued to get better each outing using what he has learned along the way. He pitches like he has been there even though he is only a freshman and shows a lot of poise on the mound,” said Sells. 


Alderman will look to continue to build on what has been a successful start to his freshman campaign, and to think, where would he be today if he had never broken his right arm?  


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