Truesdale throws first perfect game for Billingsley
Published 9:55 am Friday, March 3, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Billingsley High School sophomore pitcher Mason Truesdale achieved arguably the biggest feat in all of baseball on Feb. 28. Truesdale retired every batter he saw in the Bears 11-0 win over Indian Springs High School and threw the first perfect game in Billingsley school history.
The feeling of accomplishing the great feat has not set in for Truesdale yet.
“ “I felt like it was going to be a good day, and everything just came together perfectly,’ Truesdale said.
Truesdale was spotting his fastball well throughout the game, and relied on that pitch a good bit. His curveball was not getting down enough for his liking, but he did work in a couple changeups with the bevy of fastballs.
He made quick work of the Indian Springs lineup, and the Billingsley offense generated nine runs through the first three innings to give Truesdale a comfortable lead. The sophomore took the mound in the top of the fifth inning with an 11-0 lead. If he could allow two or less runs, the Bears would end things early in five innings. Most importantly, if Truesdale could retire the next three batters, he goes perfect.
He had thrown a few one-hit games before, but not a no hitter or a perfect game. Truesdale got the first batter out after a dropped third strike was thrown out at first base. The old adage of not talking about a no hitter or perfect game as it was happening was in full effect in the Billingsley dugout.
BHS coach Jeffrey Alexander looked over at his assistant coach after the first out.
“Has anyone been on?”
The assistant shook his head no.
“Has Mason walked anyone yet?”
Another shake of the head no.
Truesdale struck out the next batter on three pitches.
Billingsley has had one no-hitter in its history when senior Shane Shirah threw one his 10th grade year.
Shirah was at shortstop during Truesdale’s perfect game.
“Once I got two outs, and I had two strikes on the hitter I was like ‘Alright, I got this,’” Truesdale said.
Truesdale’s final pitch was a grounder to shortstop where Shirah was waiting to make the final out. Two years after his no-hitter, Shirah was able to make Truesdale’s perfect game a reality.
“It did not set in with me until that last inning,” Alexander said. “I checked the books after the game, and I was able to tell Mason and his teammates ‘You have accomplished a great feat in the game of baseball by throwing a perfect game.’”
“I could not have done it without my fielders,” Truesdale said. “Having this group of guys to be with me and behind me really feels good, and to be able to know that I have room to improve.”
Within three seasons, Billingsley has produced a no hitter and a perfect game from two different pitchers.
“I am able to be a part of a no hitter and a perfect game, which tells you a lot about our guys coming up through the program, and how strong our program is here at Billingsley,” Alexander said.
Truesdale’s final stat line was five innings, no runs, no hits, no walks, nine strikeouts on 15 batters faced and 44 of his 67 pitches were strikes.
The perfect game boosted Billingsley to a 5-0 record this season. A record Truesdale thinks will only get better this season, and his next two seasons at Billingsley.
“It feels really promising how my next two years after this one is going to turn out … I am really happy and excited for it,” Truesdale said. “It has been a really good start, and we have definitely grown a lot from last year, and we have a lot of talent. I really think we can for sure go deep (into the playoffs).”
Alexander said he thinks the perfect game will build confidence in all of the players knowing they do not have to score eight or nine runs to win, especially with pitchers like Truesdale on the mound.
“I have been with Mason for the past three years, and each year, I have seen him progress,” Alexander said. “He works daily on his craft as a pitcher, he wants to go to the next level as a pitcher, and I cannot wait to see him grow these next two years and see him throwing for whatever university or college he wants to go to.”
Truesdale and Billingsley continue their season on March 9 traveling to Indian Springs for a rematch at 5 p.m.