Apr. 15—Nick Evangelista has seen a lot of baseball in his life as a college and minor league pitcher and high school and Legion coach.
He said he’s never seen a performance more brilliant than Hunter Shuey’s Wednesday at Hamburg.
Shuey, a senior right-hander, struck out a school-record 19, allowed one hit and walked none in the Hawks’ 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Brandywine Heights.
“It’s gotta be one of the most impressive things I’ve seen,” Evangelista said.
Shuey’s 19 strikeouts are believed to be the most by a Berks County high school pitcher since Twin Valley’s Nick Mattioni struck out 20 and threw a no-hitter at Conrad Weiser in 1997. Mattioni’s 20 strikeouts are believed to be the county record.
“All of my pitches were working today,” Shuey said. “I was throwing a lot of sliders that couldn’t be much better than they were. I knew I had a decent amount of strikeouts, but I wasn’t thinking about it, to be honest. I was just going batter by batter and pitch by pitch.”
Shuey, who’s committed to North Carolina-Greensboro, threw 64 of his 86 pitches for strikes. A handful of major league scouts in attendance told Evangelista that Shuey’s average fastball was 91 mph in the first inning and 91 mph in the seventh inning.
“He was laser focused,” Evangelista said. “He did his thing and executed his pitches. His command was special.”
Shuey has pitched 19 innings for the Hawks (3-0 Berks III, 7-1), striking out 40 and walking five.
Chase Renner hit a chopper over Shuey’s head for a single to lead off the Brandywine second inning. He was the Bullets’ only baserunner. Their other two outs came on a groundout to shortstop Conner Licklider with one out in the sixth inning and a humpback line drive to second baseman Jared Fegley in the seventh.
Brandywine (2-1 Berks IV, 5-1) had been averaging 12 runs a game and batting over .400 before being stopped by Shuey.
“He’s the best we’ve ever faced,” longtime Bullets coach Chris Cole said. “I think we have a decent offensive team. With that many strikeouts, it was crazy. The big thing was that he threw 86 pitches. Guys can throw that hard without command.
“He has a nasty slider he throws for strikes as well. When he threw that slider, our swings were more like waves. There was nothing we could do. He was that dominant.”
Luke Bensinger had a run-scoring double in the first inning for Hamburg, and Fegley singled home Tristan Baer, who had tripled, in the sixth.
Shuey said it was the first time he pitched a complete game since he was 12 years old.
“I know my velocity isn’t where I want it to be,” he said. “I have to get my changeup down. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I could say that this was definitely the best game I’ve thrown.”