The Mankato West baseball team finished as runner ups in the Section 2 AAA tournament last year and this season the group is led by a senior pitcher … who is eyeing a state appearance.
"At the beginning of the year, he was just worried about the pitch limit screwing him over for complete games, but when he stepped onto the mound that night, he knew his stuff was working," said Rob Meidl, Mankato West senior.
Last Thursday wasn't just another big rivalry game between Mankato West and Mankato East Scarlets pitcher Evan Furst was flirting with a no–hitter.
"Most of us knew what was going on, and we just didn't want to say anything because we didn't want to jinx it," said Meidl.
"When that seventh inning came, we got two quick outs, it was starting to sink in real good, and then when that last hitter came up, and I had two strikes on him too, I was like wow I'm one pitch away from it being a no–hitter, but he made a good hit on it so you've got to give him credit for that, but it was a heck of a game," said Furst, Prep Athlete.
So the senior didn't quite get the no–no last week, but that type of performance is just what the Scarlets have come to expect since he became a starter as a sophomore.
"I think the reason that he is going to give us quality innings is because he's mentally tough, he doesn't get excited, he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, he doesn't show his emotions. If the umpire calls a pitch a ball he thought was a strike, he just gets the ball back, gets back on the mound, get the sign, and throws his pitch," said Ethan Anderson, Mankato West head coach.
The ace features a nasty curveball and has great command of his three pitches.
And after this season is over, he'll be heading to Augustana to continue his baseball career.
"It means a lot, ever since I was young, I've always dreamt of going far in my baseball career, so to go to the next level, it definitely shows that anything can happen if you work hard," said Furst.
After his one–hitter against Mankato East, Furst had eight wins and 78 strikeouts and should crack the top ten in school history for both of those categories.
His dominance on the mound is why he's our KEYC Scheels All Sports Boys Prep Athlete of the Week.