If anything, Jake Agnos was too good.
Agnos, a senior pitcher at Virginia’s Battlefield High, struck out a school record 21 batters in Battlefield’s 6-1 victory against Osbourn Park. As reported by Inside NoVa, Agnos gave up a leadoff homer to Osbourn Park batter Nick Atkinson, then proceeded to mow down the entire Osbourn Park field. He was so on that he had perfect nine-pitch innings (three strikeouts on three pitches a piece) not once but twice against Osbourn Park.
That kind of strikeout dominance tends to minimize the total pitches that any arm faces, and that was certainly the case for Agnos as well. The East Carolina commit got through the entire game on just 94 pitches. Yet Agnos’ seven-inning gem put him afoul of another, lesser known high school pitching use rule: He pitched 15 total innings in the span of seven days, one more than allowed by the Virginia state rulebook. The 15 total innings were the result of two complete games, with the first, against Patriot, going eight frames. Eight plus seven equals 15, one more than Agnos was allowed to throw.
The violation resulted in an automatic forfeit for Battlefield, which is still able to remain in the forthcoming Class 6A North Region playoffs, but dropped from the expected No. 1 or No. 2 seed to the No. 3 slot. Meanwhile, Osbourn Park magically found its way into the No. 2 seed in the same tournament … despite falling decisively to the team now seeded after it. Go figure.
So, how did an entire coaching staff somehow miss Agnos’ overuse violation? Apparently they, like everyone else, were transfixed by Agnos’ remarkable strikeout performance.
“They got caught up in the emotion of what [Jake] was doing,” Battlefield activities director Jason Koch told Inside NoVa.
Added Battlefield coach Jay Burkhart: “Jake was under the pitch limit. [The] VHSL goes by innings.”