Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Mitchell's Patrick Schuster ties Pasco County record with 20 strikeouts

NEW PORT RICHEY — At times Tuesday, it was hard to determine which was happening with greater frequency: Mitchell lefty Patrick Schuster fanning a Gulf hitter, or Mustangs shortstop Ryan Garton yawning.

"It was one of the most boring games I ever played in," Garton, also a pitcher, said with a chuckle. "I was sitting here chit-chatting with my second baseman the whole time because we're not getting any plays.

"And after the third inning, I knew they weren't going to start hitting the ball ever."

Such was the backdrop for one of the most dominant pitching performances in Pasco County history. One player's monotony was another's masterpiece.

A lanky (6 feet 2, 165 pounds) junior with braces and a fledgling brown goatee, Schuster struck out 20 in a 10-3 romp, tying the county record set by Pasco's Don Porter in a state tournament win against Avon Park in 1957. At one point, Schuster struck out 14 of 15 and nine in a row.

Only one batter went down looking, a testament to Schuster's curve — buoyed by a wind blowing in — that seemed to drop as if it fell from a coffee table just as it reached the plate.

"They were just chasing ridiculous stuff," said Schuster, who allowed four hits.

According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Buddy Collings, an archivist of Florida prep records, Schuster fell two shy of the state mark of Baldwin's Steven Keen. In that no-hitter against Orlando Lake Highland 15 years ago, one batter reached on a passed ball on a third strike and another on a wild pitch on a third strike.

At least three others have struck out 21, Collings said.

Entering Tuesday, Schuster hardly seemed poised to join that elite fraternity.

First, the temperature dipped into the 40s. Between innings, Schuster sat between Chris Wenstrom and Jake Shellenberger, who literally squeezed him to keep him warm.

Additionally, Schuster, pressed for time, bypassed his typical pregame meal (salad) for popcorn chicken and macaroni and cheese from a supermarket deli.

"When I got into the game, the ball wasn't doing anything that it usually does. It wasn't quick or anything," said Schuster, 5-2 with a 1.11 ERA.

"So I went straight to my curveball in about the third inning and stuck with it. I know a lot of the kids (on Gulf's team), and I know they chase stuff. So I threw a bunch of curveballs to the kids I knew. And lower in the lineup, I could throw just fastballs."

The result was equal parts tantalizing and testimonial. A day later, Schuster spoke of his brother Shane, who died in September 2002 from a juvenile form of bone cancer at age 22. Patrick wrote Shane's initials on his cleats before taking the mound.

Then, he etched himself a place in local sports lore.

Joey Knight can be reached at (813) 226-3350 or [email protected]


The untouchables

A little digging revealed some local pitchers who flirted with or reached 20 strikeouts in a game (if we missed anyone, let us know):

20: Don Porter, Pasco (4-1 vs. Avon Park, 1957); Patrick Schuster, Mitchell (10-3 at Gulf, Tuesday)

19: Dave Doorneweerd, Ridgewood (3-0 vs. Zephyrhills, April 9, 1991)

18: Greg Devault, Gulf (opponent/score not available, 1985); Jeff Roxby, Ridgewood (7-0 vs. Central, March 21, 2006)

Mitchell's Patrick Schuster ties Pasco County record with 20 strikeouts 04/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Buccaneers-Bills: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss


    Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo on Sunday:


    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) screams in jubilation after running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills roundtable: Deonte Thompson's late catch spelled 'instant disaster' for Bucs


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Adam Humphries' fumble led to the Bills' game-winning field goal in Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo. But the Bills' first play after the Bucs finally took the lead was almost as deadly.

    The Buffalo Bills' Deonte Thompson (10) catches a pass in front of Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes (24) during the first half. [AP photo]
  4. Bucs-Bills: Instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo:


    Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) intercepts a Jameis Winston (3) pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs overcome 11-point deficit, then allow game to slip away, 30-27, to Bills


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In less than a minute, a hard-fought win — and perhaps much more — slipped away from the Bucs, who gave up 10 points in the final four minutes and lost to the Bills, …

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) tries to turn the corner as Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) forces him out of bounds during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]