This should never happen, even when the reasons behind it are somewhat understandable.
On Tuesday, a Rochester High in Washington state used starting pitcher Dylan Fosnacht for 14 innings. He tossed an astounding 194 pitches, and then left without a decision in Rochester’s marathon 1-0, 17-inning victory against LaCenter High.
Just stop and think about the strain that Fosnacht put on his young arm in one afternoon. Yes, the pitcher was quick to defend his coach’s decision to leave him in on Twitter after the game, but that doesn’t make the 14-inning outing right. The team’s assistant coach, Kyle Sprague, told MaxPreps that both Fosnacht and the player who replaced him, Dustin Wilson, reported no arm soreness on Wednesday.
Why was Sprague worried about Wilson, you ask? Because he took on an otherwordly work load as well, finishing the 17-inning marathon and then pitching a complete game 7-inning, 5-3 victory against Elma High in the second half of a three-school doubleheader.
“I have never seen two guys take the mound and dominate like that for that long,” Sprauge told MaxPreps. “I have both of those guys in class, and they both said that their arms were fine today.”
It’s worth noting that Rochester competes in Washington’s Class 1A, the state’s smallest division. It’s a tiny school and, as a result, fields a rather small baseball roster. Teams like that often only have two pitchers who get in any level of work during a year.
Still, with the rash of young major leaguers heading to Birmingham, Alabama for Tommy John surgeries performed by Dr. James Andrews, a 194-pitch outing should be a reason for serious pause and reflection … and probably a pledge to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again.