With an orange Gatorade and a snack in hand fresh off tying his career best with a 97 mph fastball, Yelm High School senior Parker McFadden basked in the glow of an achievement he’d never accomplished in his high school career: throwing a no-hitter.
Add it to the list of notable performances for the Tornados’ ace this spring as Yelm blanked Stadium, 12-0, in seven innings Monday at Tacoma’s Heidelberg Park to remain tied atop the 4A Narrows League standings at 5-2 (11-3 overall) with South Kitsap.
McFadden’s no-hitter augments one-hitters he thrown this spring against Olympia, Timberline and Gig Harbor. But Yelm coach Brady Hoover said McFadden took a step forward with what he called the right-hander’s most efficient outing of his career “by far” — despite a rocky first inning that included 25 pitches.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Hoover said.
McFadden needed only 79 pitches — 54 over the final six innings — and struck out nine in picking up his fifth win against one loss. And all that separated the senior from a perfect game against Stadium was a hit batter (Braden Schmunk) in the first inning.
But that’s OK with McFadden.
“I still got a no-hitter,” he said.
Even more impressive was how McFadden responded after his first inning struggles, which included falling behind in the count on three of the first four batters and the hit batter — all after the Tornados’ offense gave him a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.
“The first inning was shaky,” McFadden said. “I’m happy I came back in the next inning, and was throwing strikes. ... I figured it out.”
And once he did, he cruised, shutting down the young Stadium lineup down in order from there on out. His final out was a 3-1 groundout on his 79th pitch.
The Tigers (6-8, 2-5 4A Narrows) showed their youth in the third inning, committing three errors, which helped contribute to six Yelm runs and a 9-0 lead. The Tornados sent 11 batters to the plate against three Stadium pitchers, yet first-year Tigers coach Scott Harthorn, a former Gig Harbor assistant, is confident about what lies ahead in the final two weeks of the regular season.
“We’re going to battle back and snag one of those (five) playoff spots,” he said.