Justin Schuler put up eye-popping numbers in his pitching performance last Friday against Warrenton at Dutzow Ballpark.
The senior southpaw tossed a seven-inning no-hitter, registering 17 strikeouts, in the Blue Jays’ 9-0 baseball victory over the Warriors.
“I’m excited about it. I never thought I’d ever have a game like that. I don’t consider myself a strikeout pitcher,” Schuler said. “The big thing was that I usually got ahead in the count. Once I got ahead, I got them out with my curveball, or stayed with my fastball if they weren’t catching up to it.”
All but four of the outs Schuler recorded came via the strikeout.
In the four outs that were not strikeouts, two of them were ground balls back to the mound, meaning Schuler had a hand in 19 of the 21 outs.
The other two outs were a sacrifice bunt that catcher Sam Katzung fielded and a fly ball to right field caught by Jared Walde.
In seven innings of work, Schuler allowed no runs or hits with four walks and 17 strikeouts. He struck out the first five batters of the game.
“It’s hard to describe Justin’s performance. He started out not being able to throw a strike while warming up, and then went out and completely dominated,” said Washington Head Coach Scott Bray. “I believe the 17 strikeouts is a school record, and our first no-hitter versus a GAC school. It was a great performance against a pretty good team.”
Schuler, who once threw a one-hitter for the Washington Post 218 Junior Legion team, agreed that he did not have a good warm-up session.
“I’ve noticed that when I don’t throw well in the bullpen, I usually have a good game,” Schuler said. “In this game, part of it probably was that there isn’t a mound in the bullpen at Dutzow, which threw me off a little.”
The Blue Jays (7-4) took the lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning, which was all they needed.
They added three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and five in the sixth.
“It was a 1-0 game through 4 1/2 innings, so it was much closer than the final score indicated,” Bray said. “It was hard to get a read on our defense with only having to field two balls.”
Brock Hopkins, who has one of the top batting averages in the St. Louis area at .560, continued his hot hitting by going 3-3 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and two runs.
Dilan Bollmann and Katzung (one double) both were 2-4 with one RBI. Bollmann also scored two runs.
Todd Hellmann (double) and Phillip Straatmann both finished with one hit and one walk. Straatmann also scored a run.
Alex Monehan and Luke Hasenjaeger both walked and scored. Pete Coulter scored two runs.
Ben Stephens was Warrenton’s starting pitcher and suffered the loss.
Trevor Bradshaw and Corey Eckenfels both drew a pair of walks for the Warriors (5-3).
It was a 1-0 game through 4 1/2 innings, so it was much closer than the final score indicated,” Bray said.
Washington won Monday at Lutheran South, 4-3.
The Blue Jays led 4-0 after scoring two runs in the top of the first inning and single tallies in the third and fourth frames.
The Lancers (10-4) scored one run in the bottom of the fourth and two in the fifth.
“We jumped out to an early lead and held on from there with Kyle Summers closing it out,” Bray said. “He came in the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and started the 1-2-3 double play when he made a very good play on a ball back to him. He then shut the door in the seventh.”
Zach Pointer pitched the first four innings for the win. He allowed three runs, two earned, five hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Andrew Sumner, 1.1 innings, and Kyle Summers, 1.2 innings, pitched in relief. Summers earned the save.
Sam Katzung was 3-3 at the plate with one RBI.
Todd Hellmann was 3-4 with two runs and one RBI.
Hopkins belted a home run, finishing with one hit, one RBI and one run.
Hasenjaeger, Pointer and Walde each added one hit. Pointer scored a run.
Jeff Hennen started and suffered the loss for Lutheran South. Nicholas Bohlmann, Trevor Jost and Cole Bornhop each had two hits.