For the second time in fewer than four weeks, Lewis-Palmer right-hander Jason Shuger tossed a no-hitter.
The Air Force Academy-bound senior no-hit Sand Creek on April 2 during a 12-1 victory at Rangers Field. Shuger struck out 12 and walked one in the five inning affair that was called due to the 10-run rule.
“I was well aware of what was going on, but I was just focused on throwing strikes and keeping it in the zone and dominating like I know how,” Shuger said.
Shuger threw just 70 pitches in recording his gem. His pitch limit is 110. Only three batters put the ball in play.
“I was on cruise control,” Shuger said.
Sand Creek did not come close to a hit. The closest thing the Scorpions had to a base knock occurred in the third inning when a batted ball was hit to the Lewis-Palmer third baseman, who threw wildly to first.
Shuger helped himself out at the plate. Batting cleanup, he belted his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the third.
Shuger’s no-hitter came on the heels of his worst outing of the season. Eight days earlier, he lasted just 1 2/3 innings in a start against Pueblo South, walking five and allowing three runs during a 13-1 Lewis-Palmer loss.
“I knew I needed to come bounce back this game, especially after that terrible start I had,” Shuger said. “This was really good to get out there and dominate like I did. It gives me a lot of confidence my next couple of starts.”
Shuger’s first no-hitter came in the Rangers’ first game of the season on March 7 against Ponderosa. In that game, also played at home, Shuger struck out 13 batters in seven innings.
After the Sand Creek game, Shuger sits at a 4-2 record with a 1.06 ERA, to go along with 61 strikeouts and 10 walks in 26 1/3 innings.
Lewis-Palmer coach Brett Lester said he spoke with a CHSAA official after Shuger’s second no-hitter to see just how rare the accomplishment was.
“The CHSAA person I spoke to said he can’t recall anyone at the (Class) 4A or 5A level throwing two no-hitters in a season, much less in the span of less than a month,” Lester said.
As great of a season as Shuger is having, he might not be the best pitcher in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference. As of April 4, Palmer Ridge senior Charlie Deeds was 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 26 innings. He had 53 strikeouts and nine walks.
Shuger said he is looking forward to possibly squaring off with Deeds when the two teams meet April 30 and May 2.
“I’d like to see a head-to-head game with me and Charlie,” Shuger said. “I played with him a couple of years in club ball. I think it would be a fun game to see.”