Apparently, it's a good thing when your pitching staff is composed of a bunch of zeroes.
It took almost a quarter of a season for St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.) High's baseball team to surrender an earned run, producing a 0.00 ERA through its first eight games.
"It's been pretty amazing," St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus told the Chicago Sun-Times in a feature on the team's perfect pitching staff. "Every guy has just been incredible. I knew we had a very good staff, but you never expect to see this."
Right-handed starters Kyle Estand, Mike Kornacker, Zach Lewis and Brad Wood threw 41.2 of the Vikings' 49 earned run-less innings to start the season, per the Sun-Times.
St. Laurence started 7-1 after two rounds through the rotation, allowing just a pair of unearned runs in a 2-1 loss to Chicago's Simeon Career Academy. The Vikings outscored opponents 64-2 in that span, climbing to No. 4 on the Sun-Times rankings.
Kornacker, Lewis and Wood all reach the upper 80s to low 90s on their fastballs, and each could be a Division I pitcher down the road, the Sun-Times said. Lewis, the lone senior of that trio, is the son of former San Diego Padres draft pick Tony Lewis. Kornacker has committed to Purdue, and junior classmate Wood owns a few DI offers.
"This is the best rotation we've had, top to bottom," Lotus told the paper. "This group has the ability to be competitive every game. We've struck out a lot of guys. We haven't had to make many plays on defense."
In fact, the Vikings struck out 70 opponents while producing a 0.54 WHIP (21 hits, 17 walks) through their first 49 innings, but all good things must come to an end.
St. Laurence gave up a whopping 22 runs in a pair of losses over the weekend -- allowing two first-inning runs in a 6-5 loss to IMG (Bradenton, Fla.) Academy and suffering a 16-5, slaughter-rule defeat at the hands of St. Ignatius (Chicago, Ill.) High. Those defeats only serve as a reminder of how impressive that eight-game stretch actually was.