Junior pitches perfect game: Mark Hu ties CCS record with 18 strikeouts


Alysa Suleiman

Mark Hu (11) pitches during the baseball team’s game against Crystal Springs. Mark pitched a perfect game against Priory on May 11, in which he struck out a record-setting 18 batters, making Harker and CCS history.

Mark Hu (11) pitched a perfect game for the Eagles against Priory on May 11, making Harker and Central Coast Section (CCS) history with a record-tying 18 strikeouts. A perfect pitching game in baseball involves not allowing any opposing batter to reach first base over the course of at least nine innings. Mark threw a total of 86 pitches in the Eagles’ 15-0 shutout victory, which brought the baseball team’s season record to 9-0 in league play and 11-4 overall. 

“It was definitely a really fulfilling moment, knowing that the work I put in during practice paid off. However, I know that it’s just one step along the way and that I need to continue getting better and pushing myself forward,” Mark said.

Mike Delfino, head coach of the baseball team, describes Mark as an “excellent teammate” who serves as a great role model for younger athletes due to his work ethic and dedication towards improvement.

“Mark is a very quiet person, definitely not a ra-ra guy, but a hard worker who is always trying to get better as a player,” Coach Delfino said. “Younger players can see how he’s working to improve and how much he has improved in the last few years, and he inspires them to work hard as well. Mark is an excellent leader-by-example and every team needs a few of those.”

Mark attributes his pitching success to his consistency and resilience, as well as to the guidance of his catcher, Nick Coulter (12).

“I think my biggest strength is my consistency and being able to bounce back from mistakes. I think a big part of that is due to Nick, our catcher, who helps me stay on track and pitch the best I can through the entire game,” Mark said.

Coach Delfino seconds this notion, also highlighting Mark’s control and steady demeanor as the two biggest factors contributing to his stellar play.

“One of his biggest strengths is his control. He can throw many different pitches for strikes consistently and that makes it tough for any hitter, since Mark can keep guys off balance by mixing speeds and the type of pitches. The second biggest factor is Mark’s demeanor.  He’s unflappable on the mound, just a model of consistency,” Coach Delfino said. “By looking at him, you can’t tell if his team is up or down by 5 runs.  Opponents never know if they are getting to him or not and that can be very intimidating.”

Mark Hu (11) pitches while the umpire looks on. In addition to his stellar pitching performance, Mark also contributed to the team’s shutout 15-0 victory against Priory with the bat, connecting on three hits, one of which was a homerun that earned the Eagles two runs. (Muthu Panchanatham)

Mark also played a crucial role in the game against Priory at bat, racking up three hits and a homerun that earned the Eagles two runs. The team re-matched against Priory two days later, on May 13, and followed up their first victory with a dominant 12-2 performance. After a week off from games, the baseball team will resume competition in the coming days for their final two weeks of league play, starting off with a home match against Crystal Springs Uplands at 4 p.m. tomorrow.