Just the label of “perfect game” is, well, perfect unto itself.
So a pitcher achieving the feat of allowing no hits and no baserunners in back-to-back outings is a rarity’s rarity, even in a national high school baseball landscape in which no-hitters occur daily.
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Christian pitcher Matthew Mercer can now say he’s performed that rarest of rare feat. On Monday, the senior lefty retired all 15 batters he faced in a 10-0, mercy-rule win over Chattanooga’s Notre Dame.
There is one catch – both perfectos came in five-inning, mercy-rule decisions. The first was on April 4, a 14-0 decision at Bledsoe County (Pikesville, Tenn.).
Chattanooga Christian head coach Ben Wharton didn’t let the fact that the games were shortened dampen the feat.
“That’s two in a row,” Wharton told The Chattanoogan. “I realize it’s two five-inning games, but that’s 10 consecutive innings where nobody got on base for any reason. Maybe it’s been done before, but that’s a testament to him and the hard work he puts in to be a successful high school pitcher.
“He was really going after them today. A lot of folks don’t realize that he hasn’t given up an earned run this year. He’s now 3-1, but the game he lost was a result of unearned runs.”
Per The Chattanoogan, Mercer only threw 48 pitches on the day, including 38 strikes and 10 balls. Only in the first inning did he reach a full count.
“I really wasn’t expecting it, but everything seemed to just fall into place,” the East Tennessee State commit Mercer told The Chattanoogan. “I started thinking about it after the fourth inning and thought about trying to get fancy with some off-speed stuff, but I figured I’d just throw was the coach was calling and if it was meant to be, it might happen. I just went out and did the best I could.”