The Science Hill senior pitcher threw 17 strikeouts in a perfect game as the Hilltoppers routed David Crockett 12-0 at Warren Miller Field. It didn’t matter if he was throwing high or low, whether it was a fastball, a slider or curveball, it was all working for the 6-foot-4 right hander who has signed to play college baseball at Radford.
“This is the first perfect game I’ve ever thrown,” said Feathers, who improved to 1-1. “I’ve had a no-hitter through five innings, but never through seven. You just have to hit your spots and trust coach’s pitch calls. I just located my pitches and they were swinging and missing.”
The performance overshadowed a big night at the plate for the Hilltoppers, who had 13 hits including a two-run home run by Matthew Levi in the third inning and a grand slam by Ben Grable in the seventh.
Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards, who has coached professional pitchers Will Carter, Matt Pope, and current Detroit Tigers starter Daniel Norris, was as excited about Feathers’ performance as any of the players were.
“He had such good stuff tonight,” Edwards said. “I’ve never been a part of a perfect game so I was so proud of him.”
Grable led the ‘Toppers offensively, going 2-for-4 with five RBIs, while Levi finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Caleb Marmo, at the bottom of the lineup, went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, and Garrett Stiltner and Chance Hall each had two hits.
Edwards was most pleased with a pair of bunts from Grable and Cade McCoy which set up Science Hill for a 5-0 lead by the middle of the third inning.
“I was most proud of our execution when we had a couple of bunts,” Edwards said. “We had a bunt we got down and then a sac bunt which set the stage for David Bryant’s two-run single. Then, Matthew capitalized on it with the two-run home run and that was big.”
Science Hill improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big Seven Conference, while David Crockett fell to 0-3 and 1-4.
Crockett’s Tanner Treadway gave up six runs over five innings. The Pioneers literally went down swinging. They forced a full seven-inning game as five of Science Hill’s runs came in the final inning.
“Our kids are coming day in and day out and battling,”Crockett coach Nick Lingerfelt said. “They’re accepting my challenges and I’m proud of Treadway. He battled on the mound and made a couple of pitches that showed he is a good high school baseball player. But whatever they’re putting in their water, we’d like to have some of that.”
A PERFECT ENDING
Feathers struck out the final seven batters he faced, and he made a big adjustment for the last out. With Tennessee Tech signee Will Long at the plate, Feathers went from the fastball which had served him well most of the night to end the game with a pair of curveballs.
Asked what the final innings were like with the perfect game dangling in front of him, Feathers answered, “Just don’t walk anyone. Just throw strikes and when it got to two strikes in the seventh, I made sure I was not going to walk that guy. Will Long is a good hitter and I knew he was going to hit my fastball, so I had to locate a couple of off-speed pitches and keep him guessing.”