PASCO — Evan McLean would be lying if he said he wasn’t thinking about what was on the line with each pitch.
But the Moses Lake senior refused to let the moment distract from his bigger goal.
McLean tosses a perfect game — the first of his career, at any level, he said — to hoist Moses Lake over Skyview 3-0 in the 4A state baseball semifinals at Gesa Stadium on Friday. And on the last pitch, McLean turned toward his dugout and threw his glove high in the air.
“100 percent I thought about it the whole entire game,” McLean said through a smile. “I just knew that all of us had been working so hard the whole year that we wanted to win this game and go tomorrow.
“It was the best feeling in the world right there.”
McLean’s line consisted of 12 strikeouts and no hits, or walks. He did it all in 80 pitches — 61 of them were strikes.
And Moses Lake’s runs came early. Zach Valdez drove in two runs on a line drive to center field to give it a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.
Skyview started Ryan Pitts at pitcher but opted for Cooper Barnum after three innings. Barnum kept the Storm in it and Moses Lake without a run giving up one hit and a walk opposite eight strikeouts.
But in the end, the Storm couldn’t get the bats going, thanks to McLean.
Moses Lake coach Donnie Lindgren said that while he hadn’t seen McLean, who he has coached since the senior was eight, pitch a perfect game, he knew he was capable.
“That kid competes,” Lindgren said. “He’s just a competitor, that kid goes all out, everything he does. Basketball he’s diving into the bleachers, he’s doing everything. He knows one thing and that’s 100 percent.”
Moses Lake takes on Olympia in the 4A state finals Saturday at 7 p.m., Skyview plays Issaquah at 1 p.m. in the third place game.
Added McLean: “I’m so pumped for tomorrow. We’ve been waiting our whole lives to play in the championship game and we’re doing it tomorrow. I can’t wait.”
(Click on the images below to enlarge and view as a slideshow.)
Photos by Andy Buhler / Scorebook Live
Andy Buhler is a reporter for Scorebook Live Washington. To hear him every week on the Scorebook Live Today podcast, subscribe here. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBuhler and reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.