The place to be for Southeastern scouts on Friday night was Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic High, where the Crusaders matched up against the Chipley (Fla.) Tigers.
About 30 scouts showed up to the game because it featured a stellar matchup on the mound: Righthander Karsten Whitson took the hill for Chipley and was opposed by another righthander, Wes Mugarian.
The main event lived up to the billing. Whitson threw six innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out 15. But Mugarian outshined him by throwing the first seven-inning no-hitter of his career. Over seven innings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Alabama commit also struck out 15 and extended his high school record to a perfect 18-0.
"It feels great," Mugarian said on the phone after the game. "I was looking forward to pitching against him the whole year. It was a great matchup. He pitched a heck of a game and it was just a lot of fun.
"Every time I looked up to throw, there were about 30 guns back there. That got me a little excited, but I didn't try and overthrow too much. I just tried to hit my spots and get guys out. My fastball (which sat 88-91 mph and touched 92 a few times) was working and had really good life on it. The first inning, I was trying to throw mostly fastballs, I think I only threw three or four curveballs. Then, the second inning on, my curveball was really working and everything was down. The curveball was down in the strike zone. I got a lot of Ks swinging with the curveball and a lot of Ks looking with the fastball. So, I was happy that those two pitches were working. I didn't use the changeup. I think I threw it twice—I guess I didn't need it."
Whitson was disappointed his team lost 2-0, but took it all in stride.
"Me and Wes are good buddies," Whitson said. "We were on the same team down at East Coast and our teams played against each other when we were sophomores. We've known each other for a while, so it was fun. We were texting each other early in the week and had a couple side bets, but it was a great atmosphere out there and a lot of fun to be a part of."
The teams face off again April 9.
Radziewski Does It Again
Last spring, Florida Christian School (Miami) lefthander Bryan Radziewski threw a perfect game, just a few days after fellow lefthander A.J. Salcines threw his own. On Saturday, Radziewski added to his high school accomplishments by twirling a 10-strikeout no-hitter against Miami's Southwest High, a 6-A program.
"His curveball and cutter were working," head coach Ernie Padron said. "When he gets his curveball over he looks real good."
Radziewski, a Miami signee, sat 88-91 and touched 92 a couple times in the game. He walked three hitters, the only three that were able to get ahead in the count on him. Padron is a strong advocate for teaching cutters and encourages his staff to use them.
"I feel the cutter is one of the toughest pitches to hit," Padron said. "It has a late break, even later than a slider. It's easy to throw and there is less wear and tear on the elbow. It devastates hitters. Stuff that breaks late is tougher to hit."
Radziewski also struck out 14 against Miami's Belen Jesuit Prep and has over 50 strikeouts in his four appearances.
– Nathan Rode
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