Pitchers nearly perfect

Published 2:05 am Thursday, June 18, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A perfect game is one thing. But Norwalk High pitchers Matt Dermody and Kole Klocko nearly pulled off a perfect doubleheader.

Dermody, a senior, struck out all 18 batters he faced in a six-inning perfect game Monday night. Klocko, a junior, closed the doubleheader against South Tama High with a five-inning no-hitter, striking out 10 while issuing just one walk.

Dermody and Klocko, who are best friends, faced a combined 33 batters and struck out 28 of them. If that wasn’t enough, Dermody hit home runs in each game and Klocko hit a pair of doubles.

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Norwalk won both games 10-0. High schools in Iowa play baseball in the summer, and games are called if a team is ahead by 10 or more runs after five innings.

‘‘I was just really focused that night,’’ Dermody said. ‘‘I had really good control of my fastball.’’

Iowa High School Athletic Association spokesman Bud Legg said Dermody’s effort is the first recorded instance of an Iowa pitcher striking out every batter he faced. Legg said the state’s record books go back to 1929.

‘‘Guy after guy after guy, they go down, and I’m just thinking to myself, I’m like ’This is crazy,’’’ Klocko said of Dermody’s outing.

Dermody, a 6-foot-5 lefthander, was recently drafted in the 26th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He said he won’t make a decision until the end of summer on whether to go to Iowa or play pro ball.

He has made a good impression with both the Hawkeyes and Pirates so far this season. Dermody, who according to Norwalk coach Chad Wiedmann throws in the mid- to upper 80s with a good curveball and changeup, is 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA and 54 strikeouts in just 20 innings.