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Two weeks later, another young pitcher was piling up the pitch count in Massachusetts. Barnstable (Mass.) senior ace Willie Nastasi threw 155 pitches in a nine-inning, complete-game victory over Taunton (Mass.).
Nastasi, who struck out 16 in the game, said he doesn’t regret the high pitch count but does agree that 155 is a little too steep for his comfort.
“Looking back, yes it probably was too many pitches and I won’t do it again,” said Nastasi, who is signed to play for UConn next season. “But I also look back at that game and remember that I stayed strong throughout the whole game. I really felt great and had no fatigue.”
All three pitchers felt no pain beyond the usual soreness. And they all continued to pitch this season.
“I felt fine the whole time before and after,” Nastasi said. “But I will say, if I was tired and if I felt like my arm was getting tired I think I am smart enough to know to take myself out. That just wasn’t the case that game.”
His coach, Joe DeMartino, agreed.
“He didn’t look like he was pressing, and in my mind he was looking really strong as the game went on,” he said. “I was confident in my decision. And I still am.”
DeMartino said he always kept Nastasi’s health a concern during the game and repeatedly asked his young pitcher if he was OK to continue.
“It’s a tough call,” he said. “Any coach who has been in my position knows the feeling. But I know what Willie is capable of and I know he works hard and has great mechanics. The key in all this is a coach should know what their pitcher can and cannot do. I can tell when a pitcher is getting tired. I would have had no problem pulling him if I felt he wasn’t good to go.”