Written by Corbett Smith
Ferris pitcher Evan Pontley goes into national record book with 22 strikeouts in a complete-game no-hitter
Ferris pitcher Evan Pontley had a simple philosophy at Mabank on Monday night: stick mainly with his fastball, and "throw it as hard as I could."
It resulted in the game of his life.
Pontley pitched a complete game no-hitter in a 13-3 win, striking out 22 batters - one more than the number of outs in a seven-inning game.
"Everything I threw was working," Pontley said.
After the first inning, Ferris actually trailed 2-0, despite Pontley striking out the first six batters. The two batters that scored during the inning reached on dropped third strikes and throwing errors by the catcher, scoring on a passed ball and a dropped third strike.
"I was a little embarrassed after that first inning," Ferris coach Matthew Wolfe said. "That would drive any coach crazy, and I think it took a few years off my life. But they gathered their composure and played pretty flawless after that."
Pontley struck out the first 20 batters he faced until a fly-out in the sixth inning. Ferris (1-0) tied the game in the third inning, and broke it open with a nine-run sixth inning. At that point, Wolfe went to Pontley - whose pitch count was in the low 80s - to ask him how he was feeling.
"He said, 'I don't feel anything. I'm finishing this game,'" Wolfe said. "And I'm like, 'You bet.'" Pontley finished allowing no hits, no earned runs and one walk, throwing 97 pitches. A Class 3A all-state shortstop last season, he went 2-4 at the plate as well, with two RBIs and a run scored.
According to the National Federation of State High School Association's record book, Pontley's effort is tied for sixth-most in high school history. Lingleville, Texas pitcher Brett Jennings holds the record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game, with 25 in a 6-3 win over Santo in 1986. Pontley said it was "unbelievable" that his game on Tuesday could put his name in the national record book.
"It's crazy - and means the world to me," he said.
Here are the records for most strikeouts in seven-inning game, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations:
|24||Brett Jennings||TX||(Lingleville) vs. Santo, TX, 4-28, 1986 (L 6-3)|
|23||Shinjiro Kitano||CA||(San Marino Southwestern) vs. Yeshiva, CA, 1990|
|23||Bruce Bremer||WI||(Loyal) vs. Owen-Withee, WI, 1968 (L 11-0)|
|23||Steve Webber||IA||(Keosauqua Van Buren) vs. Olds Waco, IA, 6-13, 1966|
|23||Robert Gipple||IA||(Mt. Pleasant Pleasant Lawn) vs. Wyman, IA, 4-15, 1943|
|23||Delon Thompson||IA||(Roland) vs. Wellsburg, IA, 5-19, 1960|
|22||Donald Porter||NY||(Sidney) vs. Sherburne-Earlville, NY, 5-6, 1982|
|22||Jim Peterson||CA||(La Habra Sonora), 1973|
|22||Kenton San Miguel||MI||(Breckenridge) vs. Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, MI, 5-3, 2009|
|22||Gary Johnson||NC||(Cherokee) vs. Robbinsville, NC, 1968 (C 4-3)|
|22||Roland Hazelton Jr.||NY||(Parishville-Hopkinton Central) vs. Knox Memorial, NY, 5-26, 1966 (PH 10-3)|
|22||Don Kaiser||OK||(Ada Byng) vs. Antlers, OK, 1954|
|22||Scott Garrelts||IL||(Buckley-Loda) vs. Wellington, IL|
|22||John Semprini||IA||(Dayton) vs. Gowrie Prairie Valley, IA, 7-1, 1977|
|22||Kevin Russell||NY||(Westport-Keene) vs. Johnsburg, NY, 5-5, 2011 (W 10-8)|
|22||Bo Baker||IA||(Boone) vs. Newton, 6-2, 1997|
|22||Evan Pontley||TX||(Ferris) vs. Mabank, 13-3, 2014|