Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports that South Korean high school pitcher Su-Min Lee set a new national record for strikeouts in a game with 26 over 10 innings on Sunday. Lee threw 168 pitches in a complete-game 2-1 win.
Here’s a look at the single-game strikeout records from a few other levels and leagues. You might be surprised by the national high school record in the United States.
Washington Senators righty Tom Cheney struck out an absurd 21 batters in a 2-1, 16-inning win over the Baltimore Orioles on September 12, 1962. Cheney pitched all 16 innings, allowing 10 hits and four walks. The major league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is 20.
On April 3, 1973, Miami (Ohio) pitcher Buddy Schultz struck out 26 Wright State batters. Schultz would go on to pitch five seasons in the majors, mostly as a reliever. He had a career-high seven strikeouts during a five-inning relief appearance in 1977 and retired with a 15-9 record and 3.68 ERA.
Minor League: 27
Ron Necciai struck out 27 batters in nine innings while pitching for Pittsburgh’s Class-D Appalachian League affiliate in 1952. Necciai struck out four batters in the ninth inning afer his catcher dropped a called third strike and the batter reached first base. In his next start, he struck out 24 batters. Necciai’s minor league success didn’t translate to the big leagues, where he posted a 7.08 ERA in 12 career games.
High School (U.S.): 40 (!)
In 2004, Ridgewood (Ill.) righthander Joe Labek struck out 40 batters in a 24-inning game that was split over two days a week apart. Ridgewood ultimately lost the game, 2-1.