Wasilla senior pitcher Hank Boyer retired all 15 batters he faced against Kodiak in a 15-0 win. Photo credit Boyer family
By the third inning, Hank Boyer knew he had something special brewing.
The Wasilla pitcher had command of all three pitches and his curveball was on a string, helping the senior right-hander record a no-hit, no-walk effort over five innings.
A perfect game.
It came in a 15-0 win over Kodiak in Southcentral Conference action at Wasilla’s new baseball field.
“I'm feeling good; never have been that close before,” Boyer told me. “Happy I could finish it. With double digit runs on the board I knew we were gonna win and that's all I cared about.”
Boyer struck out 8 of 15 batters he faced and needed only 52 pitches to complete the job.
“I knew after the third inning we could do something special,” Boyer said.
He worked through two full counts – once in the fourth inning and again in the fifth inning, ending both at-bats with a strikeout.
“Coach Ott has called him our ‘Bulldog’ and that's truly what is,” Wasilla pitching coach Bryan Boyett told me. “Perfect games don't come around often and it is such a blessing to watch perfection at its finest.”
Boyer’s beauty wasn’t without at least one dicey moment.
Third baseman Cyruss Lovell made a tremendous play in the fourth inning, Boyett said, to preserve the perfect game.
“My team had my back today,” Boyer said. “I had 100 percent confidence in them.”
He didn’t really need the guys behind him on this day – only the guy in front of him.
Catcher James Arend played a pivotal role in the perfect game.
“They were on the same page all game long with me on what they were seeing and what we were calling,” Boyett said. “Both the guys were really calm in the dugout. I think the coaching staff were more nervous than they were.”
Only 11 of 52 pitches were balls, in part to a nice targeting and framing by Arend.
“I had fun with him today,” Boyer said. “When their cleanup hitter came up and he called exactly what I was thinking for three straight pitches, I smiled a little. I knew me and him were on the same page today.”
Boyer throws a fastball, curveball and changeup. His out pitch was his curve.
“It was moving good,” he said.
Van Williams is a freelance writer in Anchorage and a correspondent for the Alaska School Activities Association.