Pitcher Perfect: Jonah Leblanc’s 18-Strikeout Perfect Game

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 7:06 PM EDT
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Fort Fairfield, Maine (WAGM) - On May 20th, 12-year-old Jonah Leblanc from the Hillside IGA Little League team in Fort Fairfield achieved an extraordinary milestone—a perfect game. He flawlessly struck out every batter from the White Smiles team, leading to a resounding 10-0 shutout victory. Jonah’s unwavering focus on the mound turned that day into an enchanting and unforgettable experience.

Jonah Leblanc, Pitcher/first Baseman- Hillside IGA little league team: " After that 10th strikeout, i just started taking deep breaths and stuff and then i just really focused and i didn’t throw like to to wild, cause i just focused and straight into the strike zone”.

Each pitch and every strike was significant, creating unforgettable moments throughout the game not only for Leblanc, but for the other players and the fans.

Maison Edmunds, Catcher- Hillside IGA Little League Team:” One like really cool play he did is that he threw a curve ball and like it like completely messed with the guy cause like i had had him throw two fastballs right after each other and then i made him throw an off-speed pitch which really messed with the batter, which was pretty cool”.

After every strikeout and every inning, fans and players more and more excited about the possibility of a perfect game.

Allen Milton, Coach- Hillside IGA Little League Team:” They were asking how many strikes and where we were at and what the score was and i had to remind them that, in baseball you don’t talk about certain things so i kinda had to hush them up a couple of times, even a couple of players later in the game, we had to remind them that, lets not put the curse on it, let Jonah do what he needs to do”.

In a climactic moment with everything at stake, Jonah Leblanc channeled the “Wild Thing” from the Major League movie, opting for the trusty number one pitch.

Jonah Leblanc, Pitcher/first Baseman- Hillside IGA little league team: " So it was a full count actually and it was really suspenseful cause i didn’t know what to throw, so i went with my fastball and then striked them out and i was pretty happy at that moment; I was just shocked, i was like speechless”.

Allen Milton, Coach- Hillside IGA Little League Team: ”we were sitting there in the dugout and when the last batter was up, the first pitch was a strike and the second pitch was a foul ball, right up first base, my gut dropped, we were one pitch away. i was sitting there, my leg was tapping, i was having a hard time keeping track of the book and when that third strike went, we all lost it, we all just ran out, we were so exicited”.

Achieving 18 strikeouts with 54 strikes in a 6-inning game is an extraordinary accomplishment. It highlights the crucial partnership between the pitcher and the catcher.

Maison Edmunds, Catcher- Hillside IGA Little league team: " you need to have a good relationship with each other, you need to know how he pitches, and how if he like, which balls he can throw that are going to be strikes and balls”.

Jonah Leblanc, Pitcher/first Baseman- Hillside IGA little league team: " before the game, we were like; we had game plans and stuff and he’s been catching for me for about four years now, and we’ve always had that relationship, like he knows where i want those balls pitched and we do good together”.

Leblanc attributes his exceptional performance to his father’s support, instilling newfound confidence as he continues his season. This accomplishment fuels his aspirations for a bright future in baseball, with hopes of repeating this remarkable performance.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.