Blue Eagles hurler Barrett Courtwright slammed the door on visiting South Pointe on Friday, handcuffing the Stallions by pitching a perfect game, a rare feat in high school baseball.
Courtwright mowed down South Pointe batters through six innings, striking out nine along the way.
When the Blue Eagles sent run number 10 across the plate in the bottom of the sixth-inning, the game was ended due to the 10-run rule, and Clover prevailed 10-0.
“Barrett has been pitching well for us and was outstanding tonight,” head coach Darrell Van Dyke said after the game.
“It’s the second perfect game by one of my pitchers in my coaching career,” Van Dyke said. “I’ve seen one triple-play.”
Courtwright was elated after the game. “It felt great,” he said. “I feel good about my performance, but more excited that we got the win.”
“I pitched with confidence tonight, knowing my teammates were behind me. It makes a difference,” he said.
The sophomore said he usually throws a variety of pitches, and Friday’s game was no exception.
“I like to go to my change-up in key situations,” he said. “It keeps the hitters off balance.”
Courtwright had plenty of run support, beginning when Zane Van Hook crossed the plate with the game’s first score in the bottom of the second inning.
After Van Hook and Chase Galant started the inning with back-to-back singles, Nate Morrison reached on an error, scoring Van Hook.
Davis McCarter scored Clover’s second run in the third inning.
The Blue Eagles expanded the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning. Morrison scored on a wild pitch and teammate Corey Parham delivered a run-scoring single.
Clover sealed the win with a productive fifth inning. Patrick Love got things started with a double. After Galant walked, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.
Love scored on an errant throw and Morrison scored on a wild pitch.
With Courtwright mowing down South Pointe hitters, Galant spearheaded Clover’s offensive surge with three hits.
Van Dyke said he has been pleased by the team’s transition from preseason to regular season. “It’s the first win we’ve had the first week of region play in quite some time,” Van Dyke said. “That’s a sign of improvement.”
Van Dyke said he’s been pleased with the Blue Eagle pitching staff in the early season. “Our kids have played well,” he said. “We have a tough week coming up in the region.”
Clover continues its region schedule with a road game at Rock Hill at 7 p.m. Friday.