A display of pitching hardly seen
I never could have been a pitcher. My dad tells me I could throw the ball by any batter, but where it was headed was a mystery. Pitching, though, is something I’ve always been fascinated with.
How do you manipulate the ball to curve or slide like it does? How does a pitcher know where to release the ball for it to go exactly where he wants it to go? Why is a left-handed pitcher harder to hit than a right-handed one?
There are a million things that go through my mind when watching a pitcher. Tuesday night, however, was a different night.
Benton Academy’s Jason Berry and Manchester Academy’s David Coody put on a pitching clinic (albeit without the most consistent umpire behind the plate). Berry and Coody combined for 25 strikeouts, including 11 straight outs by strikeouts. It was fascinating to watch batter after batter after batter walk up to the plate, take a couple swings, watch a ball go by or two and head back to the dugout shaking their head (or throwing their helmet).
I’ve seen more baseball in my life than any other sport, including football. So, naturally I’ve seen great pitching performances on all different levels. I once coached a little league team in Cleveland where my pitcher threw a no-hitter. I’ve seen high school pitchers throw no-hitters before, too. I had the good luck to watch Caleb Reed (Mississippi State’s All-SEC closer) dominate opposing batters in high school. I’ve even seen a no-hitter in the MLB by some guy named Nolan Ryan (I was there for the seventh no-hitter).