Skip to main content

Jaycob Dittmer tosses perfect game

The Denmark News - Staff Photo - Create Article
Jaycob Dittmer and Ebyn LaForest celebrate after Dittmer tossed a perfect game at Marinette on Friday, April 19, 2024. Photo by Christine Schroeder

By Kelly Fenton

The Denmark News

DENMARK – Jaycob Dittmer has a lot of highlights to choose from over his three seasons at Denmark.

Take that six-and-two-thirds shutout pitching in the Vikings 2-0 sectional championship win over Chilton last June. That was supposed to be a pitching-by-committee situation until Dittmer decided he would take it himself.

Or take the highest of high leverage situations he was thrust into last year in the ninth inning of the state championship when Saint Thomas More had the championship-winning run 90 feet away and Dittmer strolled to the mound to get a game-extending strikeout of the three-hole hitter.

Or, the next inning when he picked off the potential winning run at first base. Dittmer would go on to pitch 2 1-3 innings to get the win in Denmark’s third consecutive state championship.

Until last Friday those would have been prime candidates to reach the top of Dittmer’s career highlights list.

But what Dittmer did up in Marinette surpasses them all, at least, on an individual level. The hard-throwing senior faced 21 Marines and retired them all to achieve perfection in Denmark’s 9-0 win.

“It just doesn’t even feel real,” Dittmer said two days later. “Just knowing all the things we did over the last three years and we had a couple of no-hitters but never a perfect game. I was pretty pumped. The whole team was pumped.”

While you can’t get better than perfect, Dittmer’s particular perfection was notable in a lot of ways … even beyond the singular achievement itself. Let’s start with the 16 strikeouts, which normally would lead to a high pitch count. But so efficient was Dittmer that he needed only 84 pitches. And only 21 of them were balls. He went to a three-ball count on only two batters, inducing a groundout to his brother David at shortstop on a 3-2 count in the first and fighting back from a 3-1 count in the third for a strikeout.

After that, he rarely even threw two balls to a batter.

Given that Denmark pitching in the early going has struggled mightily to throw strikes, Dittmer’s command on Friday was even more spectacular. And even more pleasing for the coaches.

“We have definitely struggled with the staff as a whole getting ahead in counts and throwing strikes,” said first-year head co-coach Luke Kraschnewski. “Not Jaycob necessarily but some of the guys. Part of it is run support. The pitchers feel the pressure, thinking they have to be too good. But we got him some runs early and he just settled in and went after it and had great stuff and great command.

“Something like that doesn’t happen very often but we knew Jaycob was capable of a performance like that.”

The only thing that might have stopped Dittmer on Friday was Kraschnewski himself. With this being the first game of a doubleheader and with Denmark having expended three pitchers the day before at Fox Valley and two pitchers two days before that, Kraschnewski had thoughts of trying to keep Dittmer’s pitch count down and use him in the second game if necessary.

But that was never going to happen once the game rolled into the fifth and everyone began to realize what was unfolding.

“I started noticing in the fourth or fifth that no one had gotten on base,” Dittmer said. “No one said anything until Coach Krasch came up to me before the seventh and said, ‘You know we can keep you under eighty (pitches) or you can go for it.’

“I knew he wasn’t trying to jinx me,” Dittmer added with a laugh. “But I probably would have blamed it on him if I didn’t get it.”

Only five balls were put in play and all of the plays were routine. The last one was an easy roller back to Dittmer himself in the fifth. Other than that, there was a fly out to right and a grounder to short in the first, a popout to second base in the second and another fly out to right in the fourth.

Dittmer fanned the side in the third, sixth and seventh.

And to cap off an unimaginable achievement, Dittmer added ‘immaculate’ to his perfection, tossing that rarest of rarities, an ‘immaculate inning’ to close it out in the seventh, throwing nine pitches – all strikes – for three strikeouts.

 “All my pitches were working that day,” Dittmer said. “It seemed like everything was going by so quick. Most of the time I was not thinking about hitting my spot perfectly but just throwing strikes and trusting the defense.”

Dittmer didn’t hesitate when asked to place his performance in perspective.

“This one is personal,” he said. “Winning state was a team thing and a huge achievement. And this was a team thing too because of my defense and the runs they gave me. But not allowing anyone to get on base is pretty special.”

Even perfect, you might say.


--- Online Subscribers: Please click here to log in to read this story and access all content.

Not an Online Subscriber? Click here to subscribe.

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates