Porsche Exchange Player of the Week: Sam Couch

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

At 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Sam Couch isn’t exactly an imposing figure on the mound. Nor will his fastball strike fear in opposing hitters. Yep, the Joliet Catholic Academy senior right-hander is easy to underestimate.

But here’s the thing about Couch: The kid has been nearly untouchable as of late.

Just ask Lemont and St. Rita, two top 25 opponents he shut out in consecutive starts last week. His back-to-back masterpieces, which included a no-hitter in the Class 3A regional championship game, earned Couch the Porsche Exchange Player of the Week honors.

On Saturday, against then-No. 22-ranked Lemont – a team that had been averaging nearly eight runs a game – Couch pitched a no-hitter to lift the surging Hilltoppers to the Lemont Regional championship. If not for a two-out, second-inning walk, Couch would’ve had a perfect game.

The Lewis University recruit struck out nine, walked one and faced one above the minimum. He worked fast and pounded the strike zone with a devastating 71-74 mph slider and changeup, mixing in an 81-84 mph fastball to keep Lemont hitters flailing all game. Couch needed only 78 pitches, 54 of which were strikes.

In his previous start, Couch shut out No. 3 St. Rita, 1-0, allowing five hits during Joliet Catholic’s run to the Steven M. Bajenski Tournament championship. Couch had six strikeouts and did not walk a batter in his masterpiece at Standard Bank Stadium.

So, in 14 innings, Couch struck out 15, walked one, yielded five hits and no runs. Against two ranked opponents.

“After his last start against St. Rita, I thought he couldn’t do better than that,” said JCA coach Jared Voss after Couch’s no-hitter. “But he one-upped himself today.  … He just pounds the strike zone with three pitches.”

Said Couch after his no-no: “I had everything working today. I felt like I’ve been getting stronger as the season goes on.”

For the season, Couch is 4-1 with a 1.03 ERA, and is a big reason why Joliet Catholic is now in position to make another state-championship run in Class 3A.

The Porsche Exchange salutes Couch for his hard work and success.

CLICK HERE to view past Porsche Exchange Players of the Week

Porsche Exchange BIG Slide 2013