Two days after receiving the silent treatment, Hawaii pitcher Harry Gustin earned a shoutout from the Big West Conference.
On Monday, Gustin, a left-handed sophomore, was named Pitcher of the Week. Gustin pitched a one-hitter over seven innings in Friday’s 3-1 victory over Tulane at Les Murakami Stadium.
“I’m happy that, at least, the Big West Conference recognized him,” pitching coach Mathew Troupe said. “I’m super proud of him.”
Against Tulane, Gustin did not allow a hit through the first six innings.
“Just checking out the scoreboard, seeing how the game’s going, you see that zero in that hit column and it’s impossible not to notice it,” Gustin recalled.
Teammates and coaches adhered to one of baseball’s traditions. “It’s the unwritten rule nobody talks about it,” Gustin said. “You can just make eye contact with a couple guys in the dugout. You can have a conversation about it without saying anything.”
Jake LaPrairie’s homer to lead off the seventh ended Gustin’s no-hit attempt.
“There goes his shutout, there goes his no-hitter,” Troupe said. “And you know exactly what he did with the next three hitters? He punched him, he punched him, and he punched him. He punched out the three guys. You can’t teach that. That’s just sheer will power in that moment. Being able to bounce back, that’s what he proved.
Gustin said he did not allow a hit in 62⁄3 innings during a summer league game when he was in high school. “But never a full game,” he said.
Gustin’s 2022 season was abbreviated when he suffered an injury to the second metacarpal bone in his pitching hand after slipping while shagging a ball during batting practice in Fresno. Gustin gained weight and strength during the offseason to earn the Friday night role. UH coach Rich Hill said Gustin’s breakthrough came against Cal Poly on March 17 when he pitched 52⁄3 scoreless innings.
“I’ve been cracking rocks each week,” Gustin said. “I felt I had a decent outing (against Cal Poly). I felt I had more in the tank, more to show, more to improve on moving forward. I felt I did that well on Friday. And I had a great defense behind me to make good plays to keep it as a no-hitter as long as it could be.”
Troupe said Gustin has found his confidence level, and his pitches are “up there top-10-round stuff easily, hands down.”
Troupe praised Gustin’s fastball, curveball, newly developed cutter, and slider with multiple action. “It’s all average major league stuff, which at this level is going to be above average,” Troupe said.
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