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Seattle Christian's Tyler Fox flirts with perfect game
In high school baseball, it's the pinnacle of pitching, the apex of excellence. The perfect game. No hits, no walks, no base runners. Three up, three down. Twenty-one batters faced, 21 retired.
For Auburn's Tyler Fox – Seattle Christian's right-handed freshman ace – that rare accomplishment was in sight when the Warriors hosted Chimacum on April 15.
In fact, the feat was just one pitch away for Fox, who carried a perfect game into the final inning with two outs before giving up a single to right field on a full count.
"The first pitch was a ball, but it was questionable," Fox said of the at-bat. "The second was definitely a strike, but called a ball. He fouled off the next pitch, then it was a ball. I got a strike and then he hit a blooper into right on a 3-2 count."
Although Fox got the next runner out, ending the game with a 1-0 victory for Seattle Christian, he admits he was a little disappointed.
"There was nothing I could do about it," he said. "But it was only a one-run game and we won."
Coming into the home game for the Warriors, Fox – a self-described control pitcher who complements a mid-70s fastball with a curve – said it was just an ordinary start.
"I just felt normal. The first two innings I was in a groove," said Fox, a former Auburn Little Leaguer. "By the middle of the fifth I was getting a little tired, but I kept battling because we were getting some great defense."
Fox admits he become aware of the magnitude of the moment in the fourth inning.
"I was trying to stay away from everybody, off to one side of the dugout, and someone said something about, 'Is Tyler throwing a no-hitter?' I just thought, 'Don't say that.' But I just kept pitching the same as I was doing. I did get a little anxious during the seventh inning."
Although his stat line for the game was impressive – seven innings, 22 batters faced, 89 pitches thrown with 29 balls, 60 strikes, 10 strikeouts and just one hit – Fox credits his defense for pulling out the win.
"Jeff Brubaker caught a little flare into right field in the seventh inning," Fox said. "He made a diving play that saved it."