Perfect game marks history for Faith Christian baseball team

Faith Christian pitcher Mason Taylor cranked out a perfect game during the state playoffs. (Photo courtesy Faith Christian)

RAMSEUR – Mason Taylor made history for Faith Christian’s baseball team by throwing a perfect game.

It marked the first such accomplishment in the 60-year history of the school, headmaster Todd Daniel said.

For Taylor, a freshman right-hander, it came in the quarterfinals of the North Carolina Christian School Association state playoffs Tuesday.

“I feel I’ve definitely improved,” Taylor said.

He struck out 12 of 15 Southside Christian batters in the 10-0 home victory. The game ended when the Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, creating an early end to the game via the mercy rule. Otherwise, Taylor wouldn’t have had a solo perfect game.

“They said they were going to take me out,” Taylor said of a potential sixth inning. “I was pretty mad.”

That didn’t end up happening. The idea, Faith Christian assistant coach Jordan Cassell said, was to lessen the workload so Taylor would be available to pitch later in the playoffs.

Cassell, a former player for the Eagles and son of coach Robert Cassell, said Taylor’s gem was as smooth as anything he had ever witnessed.

“He was hitting his spots,” Jordan Cassell said. “The perfect game aspect of it was pretty amazing that he didn’t walk anybody. He took a huge step forward.”

Taylor had issued at least one walk in every previous outing this year. He had been the Eagles’ No. 2 starter until moving to the No. 1 slot a few weeks ago when junior Austin Smith was dealing with an arm ailment.

Taylor maintained domination despite at least two situations when batters for Clayton-based Southside Christian worked three-ball counts.

He used fastballs, sliders and curveballs in his 71-pitch performance. He’s not fixated on blowing away batters with fastballs.

“I have no clue,” he said of his top velocity.

Also a basketball player at Faith Christian, Taylor is a middle infielder when he’s not pitching.

Taylor, a 15-year-old who lives in Liberty, was in his second season with Faith Christian. He had attended Level Cross Christian, which doesn’t have baseball. He plays travel ball with Southeast Elite out of Guilford County.

Faith Christian (16-3) fell in the state semifinals in a 9-8 loss to Bethel Christian, the eventual runner-up, on Friday in Wilson.

“Over the season, we’ve had a very good experience,” Taylor said.

By Bob Sutton