Jacob Butcher of Wasilla Post 35 throws first career no-hitter
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 24, 2013
Jacob Butcher had an idea something was brewing early in the game because of his stuff.
By the end, he knew he was on the verge of a special start. And so did everybody else with Wasilla Post 35.
So much so his teammates gave him the silent treatment – the golden rule when a pitcher has a no-hitter going.
“Nobody would say anything, which was good because I was trying not to think about it,” Butcher said. “My coach wanted to talk with me every inning, and he reminded me to keep my composure.”
Wasilla coach Gary Skan didn’t bring it up because he was too focused on keeping Butcher’s mechanics and mindset on point.
“It’s all mental with him,” Skan said. “When he stays in it mentally he’s a fantastic pitcher.”
The 17-year-old pitcher put it all together Sunday at Oiler Park in Kenai, with Butcher throwing his first career no-hitter in a 2-0 win over the Post 20 Twins.
The 6-foot right-hander struck out five and walked two. He needed just 94 pitches to get through nine innings.
“I feel very accomplished,” Butcher said. “I never felt like I was going to throw one and then it just happened.”
Butcher came close last year, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Fairbanks Post 11. He finished with a 2-hitter.
He wasn’t thinking about that this time around, though.
He was all about throwing strikes and getting outs.
“I just had to go out there and keep doing what I did early in the game,” Butcher said. “The first three innings were probably the best my coach has ever seen my pitch, and so I just used that motivation to go out there and keep doing that.”
Butcher thanked the guys behind him, saying he couldn’t have done it without them.
“I had a few struggling moments where I was having a hard time. That’s where pitching to contact came in,” he said. “I counted on my defense and it worked. They kind of won that ballgame. There were a few hard-hit balls that my infielders got.”
The final out was a ground ball to third base.
“He’s always had the potential and control, and he’s been close before,” Skan said of Butcher. “He pitched a helluva game.”