There’s nothing like a little perfection to help get the high school baseball season going.
Hermon High School senior Garrett Trask recently delivered what is a fairly rare occurrence — particularly during the weather-challenged days of late April. He pitched a perfect game Saturday in the Hawks’ 5-0 victory over visiting Presque Isle in the second game of a Class B North baseball doubleheader.
“I had pretty good control of the ball, but the biggest thing was I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Trask said. “I didn’t know I was pitching that well until the seventh inning. My first baseman Cody (Hawes) mentioned it to me, and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess you’re right.’”
“That added a little pressure finishing it off.”
Trask required just 78 pitches in his first start of the spring. The right-hander relied primarily on the fastball but mixed in his curve and knuckleball to help keep the Wildcats off balance.
Trask was locked in a scoreless duel with Presque Isle junior Connor DeMerchant until Hermon (3-0) scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Hawks were scheduled to play Wednesday at Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor.
“When we got those runs it gave me a good cushion and made me comfortable on the mound,” Trask said.
Hermon’s errorless defense included solid plays from center fielder Wyatt Gogan, second baseman Nate Allain and Hawes along with the pitch-by-pitch teamwork between Trask and catcher Adam Rush.
“He puts the glove in a good spot and focuses on keeping the glove still and opening it up,” Trask said. “He’s really good behind the plate with placement. He’ll put the glove where he wants it and locks the batters up pretty well.”
Trask has been a fixture as Hermon’s starting center fielder in baseball but has pitched somewhat sparingly for the Hawks before this spring. He estimated starting two or three games on the mound last season.
But his athleticism and experience in big-game situations made Trask a natural to rise within the Hermon pitching ranks this year.
Trask not only is a returning first-team All-Penobscot Valley Conference outfielder. He was a Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist and Big 11 Conference player of the year as a quarterback and safety on Hermon’s football team last fall. He also was a Big East Conference all-star for the Hawks basketball team that went 42-1 the last two winters and captured the 2018 Class B state championship before returning to the regional final again this year.
A little guidance from sixth-year Hermon head coach and former big-league pitcher Matt Kinney hasn’t hurt, either.
“He really helps me with the mechanics. He slows it down and really teaches the basics well,” said Trask, who plans to attend Husson University in the fall but is undecided about whether he’ll play a sport for the Eagles. “He shows you how to get more velocity and all the good stuff to keep your arm healthy and make you a better pitcher.”
Trask is part of a pitching rotation that also includes Jacques LaBonte, Keith Pomeroy and Eli Reed. He’s also one of nine seniors on the roster along with Rush, Hawes, LaBonte, Pomeroy, Kent Johnson, Dylan Leighton, Jacob Bailey and Shawn Samuels.
That experience leaves Hermon in a familiar position for the emerging season, as a contender in Class B North.
The Hawks have qualified for postseason play during each of Kinney’s five seasons as coach, ranking among the top five in the final Heal Points four times. They reached the Class B North championship game in 2016 and returned to the regional semifinals in 2017.
“This year we’re going to try to do as much as we can and see how it works,” said Trask, who expects to pitch in Friday’s 7 p.m. game against Foxcroft Academy at the University of Maine in Orono.
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