In Major League Baseball, the odds of a pitcher throwing a no-hitter in a game are more than 1,000-to-1. It's an incredible feat that every pitcher wants to experience once in their career, but as you can tell from the odds, you need to be on your game -- and a little lucky -- when you step on the mound.
While throwing a no-hitter in the high school ranks isn't nearly as hard, it's still a special moment. But what if, say, a high school pitcher threw two no-hitters in a row? How about three? Or you could just be Maxwell (Calif.) High's Steven Perry and throw four consecutive no-hitters.
One would think that beats a single no-hitter in the big leagues. According to the Colusa County Sun-Herald, Perry did the unthinkable on Thursday, tossing his fourth-straight no-no in an 18-0 win over Chester. He's now given up only two hits in 31 innings this year; USA Today's Jim Halley also noted that, since "last season when the Panthers won the state Northern Division 5 title, he's thrown 34 consecutive scoreless innings."
Perry's fourth no-hitter actually came on the same day that his teammate Tyler Wells threw a no-hitter for Maxwell in their first game of a doubleheader. It happened to be Wells' third no-hitter this year.
"If you look at Steven, he's emotionless, but internally, nobody is as competitive as him," Lay told USA Today. "He and Tyler are competitive, growing up together, playing legion and travel ball and they always try to outdo each other."
The craziest part of the story is that Perry -- who has been touted as a better shortstop than starting pitcher -- is still one no-hitter short of the California High School record. Now tied with Winters' Byron Randolph, who set the record in 1963, and East Nicolaus' John Kukuruda, who tied the record just last year, he'll go for outright ownership of the mark this Thursday in the Shasta Lake Bass Easter Tournament against some of the biggest schools in the region.
If Perry is able to toss a no-hitter later this week, he'd still be one shy of the U.S. high school record that was set by Lancaster (Ohio) Fairfield Union's Tom Engle in 1989.
Whether he ever makes a run at the mark -- or creates a new California standard -- no one can begrudge him an incredibly unique accomplishment ... particularly for a shortstop prospect.