Prep Baseball Report

Top-10 Stories Of 2018: No. 8 Payton Hutchings Sets IHSA Record

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Over the next few weeks, in addition to highlighting the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2018, we will also highlight the Top 10 Stories in Illinois during the 2018 calendar year.

Today, we’ll take a look at No. 8 Payton Hutchings Sets IHSA Record

Payton Hutchings, a talented two-way sophomore for Coal City HS, made an early season case for PBR Player Of The Year with his record-breaking performances in March and April. Hutchings, an Illinois commit, won the PBR Illinois Player of the Week award at the end of March, thanks to a scintillating performance on the mound. In a start against Beecher, Hutchings twirled a perfect game, striking out every batter he faced in the game, for a total of 21.

The 21 strikeouts in a row set a new IHSA record for consecutive strikeouts and Hutchings made it 22 in a row, thanks to ending his previous outing with a strikeout. The previous record was 19 in a row, set in 1974.


A few weeks following the perfect game, 21 strikeout performance, our Illinois Scouting Supervisor, Steve Nielsen, was in attendance to see Hutchings turn in another gem. This time it was a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts. Over the course of the season, the dynamic left-hander struck out 128 hitters in 65 innings.

Below we have gone into more depth on Hutchings and his impressive start to the spring. We have included the game story from his 16 strikeout no-hitter, his PBR Player of The Week award, a full scouting report and video from the spring.


Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Let’s call sophomore LHP Payton Hutchings’ (Illinois) 21-strikeout perfect game on Friday his coming out party. The Coal City lefty was -- quite literally -- untouchable in his start against Beecher last week and he’ll claim the first PBR Illinois Player of the Week honor in 2018.

It’s not like Hutchings wasn’t already on our radar -- he committed to the University of Illinois last December and is ranked No. 2 among LHPs in Illinois’ 2020 class. But what Hutchings asserted on Friday was pure dominance. He threw 68 of his 89 pitches that day for strikes and struck out every single Beecher batter that dared stepped foot in the batter’s box. Hutchings himself had a better experience at the plate leading off for Coalers, reaching base two more times than the entire Bobcats lineup combined. Hutchings was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and scored twice in his team’s 11-0 win.

For his efforts, Hutchings has been named the PBR Player of the Week for the week of March 19 to March 25.

Stay tuned for our Weekly Diamond Notes that will be published this Friday. There we’ll take a look at players who narrowly missed out on a Player of the Week honor but deserve some recognition nonetheless.


Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

COAL CITY - Sophomore LHP Payton Hutchings put together another dominant performance for the Coalers (11-3) on Friday in a 3-0 win over Interstate 8 foe Manteno (9-1). Hutchings, an Illinois commit, tossed a no-hitter to blank the Panthers, striking out 16 along the way. A pair of walks were the only thing standing in the way of Hutchings second perfect game in three starts.

For many, this would be a signature outing to highlight your season around, for Hutchings, this just seems like another day at the yard. Earlier this season the sophomore southpaw earned PBR Player of the Week honors for pitching perfection in a win over Beecher. In that outing Hutchings completed a true perfect game, striking out all 21 batters he faced.

To say Hutchings recent numbers have been video game-esque may be an understatement. In his last three starts he’s pitched 19 innings allowing just five hits and striking out a whopping 44 batters. That’s only 13 hitters who he has not retired via the strikeout in three games.

I’ll save the nitty gritty on Hutchings’ recent outing for the Illinois Scout Blog, but let's just say he had filthy stuff on Friday that included a swing and miss running fastball and a big breaking curveball that he rarely needed. On the offensive side of the ball, fellow sophomore Austin Pullara got plunked with the bases loaded after back to back singles from Blake Harseim and Brendan Nevin. Nevin went 2-for-3 on the day.

The Coalers then tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth after back to back RBI doubles from Sean Micetich and Hutchings. For Hutchings it was his second double of the day in four at bats.

Coal City moves to 11-3 on the year and 3-0 in conference play while Manteno suffers their first loss of the season, falling to 9-1, 2-1 in the Interstate 8.


Payton Hutchings (4.13.18)


Payton Hutchings, LHP, Coal City, 2020
Illinois commit. 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed athlete, frame projects, lean build, broad shoulders, live loose body, athletic actions. Natural two-way, multi-sport athlete, makes actions look easy. Delivery is uptempo, likes to get it and go, short quick rocker into balance position, works slightly across body, closed toe landing, quiet front side. Arm action is quick and loose, slight plunge out of separation to deceptive high ¾ slot out of tight window. Fastball is a plus potential offering - jumps on hitters with late arm side run through the zone, swing and miss pitch induced several late swings and misses throughout, earned most of his 16K’s with it. Present control, showed ability to command the fastball, only misses were up and arm side when got rushed. Velocity sat 84-85 mph throughout the contest, never dipped, held and showed best consistent velocity in the seventh (85-86 mph). Curveball plays 1/7, above average feel, plus depth at times, disappeared on hitters, back footed RHH, 67-69 mph. Showed a changeup in warmups with fastball arm action and feel for the zone, sinking action to arm side, likely completes a plus-potential three pitch repertoire that will command the zone. Left-handed hitter, easy athletic setup, stays balanced with pull side approach. Quick hands create bat speed, loose and athletic. Will ambush first pitch fastballs as well as work counts, made three hard contacts to pull side, two doubles. Easy gliding runner, 4.76 on a turn, aggressive confident baserunner, earned a hustle double. Legitimate two-way prospect at the next level.