Perfection is often times difficult, if not impossible, to achieve, but on one Friday in March, senior Foundation Christian Academy pitcher Carson Kull was perfect.
“Carson does a great job of mixing up his pitches,” said Head Coach David McNeely. “He also does a great job of hitting his spots. The thing that he does best involves the mental side of pitching—he’s able to stay very calm and collected out on the mound no matter what’s going on. I think with all three of those factors together, he just went out there and did what he was supposed to do, and he did a great job.”
The senior threw strikes all night long with a two-pitch mix. Catcher Shane Saunders remarked that Kull had a lot of movement on his slider and was deadly accurate with his fastball, hitting all of his spots with precision.
“I knew he was gonna do well when that first inning happened,” said Saunders. “He threw nine straight strikes and he did the same thing the next inning, so I knew he was gonna be good that night, and I was ready to see the outcome.”
Kull knew that he was going to do something special as he warmed up in the bullpen before the game. He was especially motivated knowing that his teammate Austin Corn was nearly perfect just three days before, throwing a no-hitter. The only batter that reached was hit by a pitch. The duo, along with Saunders, who also pitches, are the top three pitchers on the staff and have a friendly competition between them to one-up each other.
“I just went out there and I was dealing—it was just pitch-catch, pitch-catch, pitch-catch, and I was just on the money,” said Kull.
The righty was getting batters out predominately with his slider. He struck out 11 of the 12 batters that he faced in the 4-inning 17-0 win. The only batter that put the ball in play hit it back to Kull, who fielded his position and fired the ball to first base for the out. The only three-ball count occurred when he faced the last batter of the game. He kept his cool and got the hitter out by throwing a fastball right by him, recording the first perfect game in the school’s history.
“Throwing the perfect game was absolutely huge,” said Kull. “It makes me realize what I have to look back on in my baseball career—whether I play college baseball or not, I can look back and say I threw a perfect game and a no-hitter back in high school, so that’s really cool for me.”
The tall hurler had come close to throwing a perfect game the year before, taking the bid into the last inning. As fate would have it, Kull’s younger brother, Caden, who was playing second base, had an error that put an end to the perfect game. Kull, however, was able to finish the game with a no-hitter. The brothers often joke about that key play, laughing at the irony of their misfortune.
Kull also hit the first home run in the program’s five-year history, which he is more proud of than the perfect game because, he said, that he is more of a pitcher than a hitter.
“That’s definitely the thing I’m most proud of in my baseball career,” said Kull.
Saunders is happy for his longtime teammate and wishes him nothing but the best in his future playing career.
“Carson is probably one of the best teammates I could have had,” said Saunders. “I’ve known him since I was 4, and I’ve seen and played with him as he’s developed and I hope he can go to the next level and show what he’s made of, because he’s a special talent people aren’t seeing.”