ST. PETERSBURG — Not many pitchers can give up 10 walks and 13 base runners and be allowed to pitch an entire game.
JoJo Hess did it Friday night and was actually celebrating in the end as Northside Christian defeated St. John Neumann 6-2.
"I would never ever believe I walked 10 batters," said Hess, sitting in the dugout with three bags of ice on his shoulder well after the game ended. "I walked 10 batters? Oh my gosh. That's embarrassing."
Hess, who said he hasn't walked more than three batters in a game all season, used 10 strikeouts to help get out of numerous jams. His last three innings of work he said he pitched with severe pain in his right shoulder.
"In the fourth inning I started to get shoulder pains," he said. "In the fifth inning it popped on one of my pitches, and the rest of the time after that I was throwing with my guts."
Through the first 31/2 innings, St. John Neumann had eight base runners but only plated one run. Over the same period, Celtics pitcher Will Affleck was breezing along with a no-hitter and had walked only one batter.
But in the bottom of the fourth, everything changed.
The Mustangs sent nine to the plate. Three walks, a single and a sacrifice fly plated two runs and chased Affleck off the mound. Sonny Dillinger came in from rightfield without throwing a warmup pitch, and a throwing error and an RBI single added two more. By the time the inning was over, Northside had grabbed a 4-1 lead and never looked back.
The Mustangs (22-8) finished with eight hits. David Edwards and Hess had two singles each, and Connor Obrochta and Cam Eller both had a double.