Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Stilwell - "I've pitched better"

His coach, Rob Rinaldi, told him in his 29 years of coaching, he’s never witnessed nor heard of a 21-up, 21-down pitching gem in this area. Zack Stilwell, Pleasant Grove’s left-handed ace, needed only 77 pitches to strike out 14 batters and mow down the Ponderosa lineup for a 4-0 win on Monday. Believe it or not, he said he’s pitched better in other games. 

“I try to hold myself to a higher standard and I’m pretty hard on myself, especially when it comes to pitching because I know what I can do,” he said. “Yes, I have pitched better before.”

He went to a three-ball count to batters twice in the game. The closest Ponderosa came to getting a hit came in the second inning.

“I threw a change-up to a guy that rolled over on him and he hit a slow chopper between the five- and six-hole, JQ (Folena) came out of nowhere, back-handed it and threw the guy out,” Stilwell said.

As the game was nearing the final couple innings, Stilwell said none of his teammates talked about what was happening on the mound.

“I was hoping no one would be talking about it,” Stilwell said. “They didn’t. I was up on the (dugout) fence with them, just like normal. As I went out (to the mound) I just didn’t think about it. I just went about my game and threw a perfect game.”

Elk Grove’s Eric Otterson threw a no-hitter during the 2005 playoffs against Yuba City, but no one seems to remember a perfect game ever thrown by a local prepster.

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