LAND O'LAKES — After striking out 17 Land O'Lakes batters and allowing no hits through seven innings against one of Pasco County's best teams, Mitchell pitcher Patrick Schuster still felt like it was not one of his best performances. His no-hitter combined with teammate Kevin Games' timely home run in the top of the seventh to give the Mustangs a 2-1 win over the Gators on Friday night at Calvin Baisley Field.
"I felt it today, but the best day is when you do not feel it, and at Gulf I did not feel it and was still able to strike out 20," Schuster said.
In a game dominated by pitching, Land O'Lakes (10-6) put out its best in Jason Garcia, who struck out six on 113 pitches through 62/3 innings.
Schuster ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After striking out the first two batters, he walked the next two. Austin Aubuchon stole third, then Schuster tried to catch Alex Pratt stealing second but was called for a balk — which Mustangs coach Scot Wilcox questioned to no avail — sending Aubuchon home and tying the game at 1.
The game seemed destined to go into extra innings, but in the top of the seventh with two outs Games jumped on a 1-1 offering from Garcia and sent it over the leftfield wall to give the Mustangs (14-3) the 2-1 lead and win.
"They (Land O'Lakes) are a great team and they got us fired up, we got them fired up," Wilcox said.
"(Schuster) is so competitive and that balk really fired him up."