Posted: 9:22 am Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
By Post Staff
Get to know the name Patrick Schuster, Gator baseball fans. And keep your fingers crossed that he comes to Gainesville.
Schuster, a senior lefty from New Port Richey-Mitchell who has signed with the Gators for next season, set an FHSAA record Monday night by pitching his fourth consecutive no-hitter, striking out 17 in a 5-0 victory over Pasco High.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Schuster, who eclipsed a record set in the mid-80s by two different players, told the St. Pete Times.
“I was trying so hard not to think about it. I told my outfielders the last two innings, ‘Please, just come in. I don’t want to give up a bloop hit. That would be the worst way to end it.’ I’m still on cloud nine right now.”
Schuster’s streak began April 3 with 17 strikeouts in a no-hit victory over Land O’Lakes. Five days later, he struck out 10 River Ridge batters in no-hitter shortened to five innings because of the mercy rule. Then April 13, he no-hit Clearwater Central Catholic with 16 strikeouts.
The Times writes that Schuster (8-0, 110 strikeouts) goes for no-hitter No. 5 on April 28 in the Class 6A, District 7 tournament at Countryside High. The national prep record for consecutive no-hitters is six.
The rub for Gator fans, of course, is that the better Schuster pitches, the worse are his chances that he ends up in Gainesville.
Last week, after the CCC no-hitter, Schuster earned himself a live appearance on ESPN2′s First Take, where he told host Dana Jacobsen that he will follow through with his Florida commitment only if he is not taken in the first five rounds of this summer’s MLB draft.and doesn’t receive a sizable signing bonus. Schuster is ranked No. 42 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 High School Prospects.