JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – When starting a brand new baseball season there are usually some cobwebs that need to be wiped away, especially for pitchers.
However, no one told Jackson’s Nathaniel Hobbs, who went on to pitch a perfect game against Lansing Eastern in his first outing of the season.
The Vikings played a doubleheader against Eastern and Hobbs’ perfect performance came in the first game of the day as he struck out 15 batters in five innings of work. Hobbs was also working in the batter box, going 2-for-3 in both games of the doubleheader.
When we spoke with him this week, he told us that pitching a perfect game was never on his radar.
“To be honest I didn’t think I’d be able to do that but now that it happened looks back like, if I’m in this shape early, what’s it look like a month down the line like when we get to playoffs time, what can happen then,” said Hobbs. “So it just it felt great just to finally you know, that’s what pitchers, that’s what everybody’s dream goal is, and to be able to say I’ve done that, that makes me feel like special in a way.”
It’s a superstition that when someone is having a perfect game on the mound, the rest of the team doesn’t bother that pitcher in the dugout and Hobbs, he enjoyed every second of it.
“It was cool I haven’t experienced it before, you know it’s superstitious in the dugout you know, don’t say nothing but it was fun,” said Hobbs. “I gotta thank the catcher you know, he caught a great game back there, didn’t let any balls drop, but it was great.”
Jackson Head Coach Charles Hoover made sure the superstition was executed to perfection.
“You don’t talk about it, you don’t talk about it, you don’t mention it, you leave him alone, you let him do his thing, stay in his mindset, but once it happened you’re really happy for him,” said Hoover. “Then you realize crap we got another game to play, and let’s keep playing well. You know hopefully we can keep that same approach, that’s the challenge.”