Blackhawk's Brendan McKay came into today with a pitching streak for the ages. Norwin's J.J. Matijevic had an unforgettable hitting streak.
Only one of the streaks continued.
McKay (pictured), a senior left-hander, shut out Central Valley, 8-0, and stretched his scoreless innings streak to 44 innings, dating back to last season. Eight more shutout innings will put him in the top 10 all-time nationally, according to the National Federation of State High School Association.
On top of the shutout, McKay struck out 20 batters. In covering more than three decades of baseball in the WPIAL, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone striking out 20 batters in a seven-inning game in the Pittsburgh area. But guess what? It is the second time McKay had 20 strikeouts this year.
While McKay's scoreless streak stayed alive, Matijevic's streak came to an end when he went 0 for 3 in a 2-1 loss to Hempfield. Matijevic had hit a home run in six consecutive games, a feat also unheard of around the WPIAL.
You knew Matijevic's streak had to end soon, didn't you? That is awful tough to keep hitting home runs. He also had 10 consecutive hits. A shoutout to him for an incredible feat, putting the two streaks together.
As for McKay? Heck, who knows when that scoreless streak will end. He is now 25-1 for his career but his statistics this season are surreal. He has pitched 20 innings and has 49 strikeouts. Are you serious? Girls softball pitchers don't do that and that sport is so pitcher-dominated. McKay gave up four hits and struck out two. He has allowed five hits in 20 innings. Today's effort came after he pitched a no-hitter last week against West Allegheny, despite McKay maybe not being at his best.
"I thought he was a little better today," said Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia. "His curveball was better and I think he had a little more pop on his fastball. I thought he was sharper."
Amalia thought McKay was throwing maybe 87-88 mph. He was clocked in the low 90s last month while pitching in Arizona. Several major-league scouts were on hand again today.
"His curveball must have impressed because some of those scouts left some packages from their teams in the dugout for him," said Amalia.
"I can throw harder, but it's still pretty cold," McKay said.