Greg Showers has been coaching a long time. Friday he saw something for the first time in his baseball career, however.
“Thirty-seven years. I’ve never seen a performance like that,” Showers said. “A performance that dominating.”
The Stockdale assistant was referencing the shutdown showing put forth by senior pitcher Kade Sheedy, who had his A-game on the mound at Centennial. The right-hander fired a complete-game no-hitter, striking out 18 in the Mustangs’ 6-0 victory.
Sheedy needed 97 pitches to complete the feat. No ball left the infield in the process — aside from the 18 K's there were two popouts and a groundout to third base, and a groundout to second.
Sheedy struck out 10 straight spanning the third, fourth and fifth innings — he had a four-strikeout fourth when a Centennial batter reached base following a wild pitch on the third strike.
The Golden Hawks (9-8, 4-5 SWYL) also got on via a walk and an error.
“There’s some days I don’t have my stuff,” Sheedy said. “But today I had my A-game.”
Sheedy said his curveball was in top form — “I could throw it for a strike, I could throw it on the plate if I wanted to.”
His fastball hummed at 90 MPH and he sprinkled in a changeup for good measure.
Even so, he didn’t realize how well things were clicking until the fourth inning, in the midst of his 10-strikeout run.
“I knew then that I was on today. This is my stuff. I’m going to dominate,” he said.
“Honestly, until then it was just a regular game. I didn’t know I had a no-hitter. I didn’t know anything. I was just pitching.”
Showers said the team was excited playing defense. In the dugout, everyone steered clear talking about the no-hitter and the gaudy strikeout total that came with it.
Instead, the Mustangs focused on building a lead to support the performance.
Jordan Neal’s three-run home run put Stockdale (9-7, 5-4 SWYL) on top in the third. They would add another run in the fourth.
“He could see the finish line from there,” Showers said.
“Nobody said a thing until he threw strike three to end it. Then the place erupted.”
Sheedy, who will play college baseball at Cal Poly, struck out the side to end the game. He said it was his first no-hitter.
“I’ve never been that close to one before,” he said. “Nothing like that."