By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Tuesday, July 12th was a perfect day in the Detroit MSBL. At 8:30 pm Mitch Shedlowsky toed the rubber for the Redbirds of the Pistono Division, the top division in the 18+ super-competitive division. Seven innings later he came away with having thrown a rare perfect game and reducing his already minuscule ERA to 1.59 on the year, improving his record to 4-1, with his only loss coming in week one to the Yankees on an error, resulting in a 1-0 loss.
“I sure didn’t see this coming, as I got there about 6:00 pm to watch my dad (Stan) and some of my teammates play in the 32-over Cardinal’s game,” said Mitch. “Sitting around that long can make you a little lazy, especially after a long day and such a late start. But their game ended with a walk-off home run so the adrenaline got a little jolt.”
Mitch’s opponent was the Rockies, who were only behind the Redbirds by a half-game, so they had to win. The Rockies also had a starting pitcher who was throwing in the low to mid-80s, which is where Mitch also lives. It was stacking up to be a real pitching duel, as both teams were trailing the powerhouse Yankees and looking to gain ground. Mitch won this faceoff, 2-0.
“A bunch of our players also played in the game before so it was their second game of the evening. Even though it is an 18 and over division, we have guys who are 32, 35, and 38 years old, and with it being their second game we were asking a lot of them. (Mitch is 24, by the way) A lot of credit goes to the guys who caught everything in the field, especially our catcher JC who caught both games and did a great job.”
This is only Mitch’s third year in the league, all three with the Redbirds. Mitch is the traditional travel team graduate of his younger years, where his dad also coached him. His pitching travels also took him to Albion College in Albion, Michigan. His dad started playing in the Detroit MSBL in 2012 and currently plays in the 32+, 42+, and 52+ divisions, so it was only natural that the younger Shedlowsky begin his next baseball chapter following his dad to the MSBL.
I asked Mitch when it sunk in that a no-hitter or a perfect game just might be in the cards on that evening.
“One thing I have always found interesting is that there are some people who say they didn’t realize it until later. Not me. I have thrown no-hitters before and always knew. However, this time I started to get anxious around the fifth inning because there were no walks, no hits, no errors, and my legs literally started to shake just a bit. I just kept plowing ahead. After the fifth, I was mentally repeating ‘just six more hitters’ and so on.
Going into the seventh inning it really started getting to me. Walking out for the seventh I almost started crying from the anxiety. I had to take a few moments walking around the mound before I started throwing. In the back of my head, I fought thoughts of ‘please don’t let me screw it up.’ I was still able to stay very positive because they weren’t hitting it. I had 13 strikeouts going into the last inning so they were not hitting it hard or often. I kept telling myself I am in control of this so if a mistake happens it’s on me.”
Were there any times in the game that he came close to losing the perfecto, either saved by great defense or his own ability to wiggle out of a jam?
“In the sixth, I got to a 3-1 count on a batter and stepped off and really had to focus and decided to just go right at him and either win it or lose it. One of us was going to win it right here. I threw him two straight fastballs and stuck him out. I had a feeling then that I had a good chance to see this through.”
Off the field, Mitch is a part-time teacher and pitching coach and this fall will also be in pursuit of his Master’s degree in teaching. It appears the classroom has become his life’s ambition.
His dad participates in MSBL national tournaments and the two of them participated together a few years back in the Father/Son division of the MSBL World Series. As soon as Mitch’s life levels out and he can hopefully participate in any national tournaments, I’ll let you all know and you can start calling him. Stay tuned!