Story by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 22, 2018
As a closer on a struggling team, Anchorage’s Joe Fitka figured the best way to get an opportunity to finish a game was to start one.
Then he went out and still finished it.
The Chicago State University sophomore right-hander threw a 5-hit complete game on 140 pitches to highlight a 4-3 walkoff win over Utah Valley University in the Western Athletic Conference.
“I felt good,” Fitka told me. “My splitter got me some good Ks; my curve was a little up at times but pretty good when needed; and my fastball was on command for the most part.”
Fitka, of Dimond Post 21 fame and a 2-year member of the Alaska Baseball Academy, walked two, struck out five and gave up just one earned run.
Chicago State fell behind 3-0 after an error allowed two unearned runs to score, but Fitka stayed strong and didn’t focus on the score.
“I just decided that I needed to get my team back into the game and I went out there and put up zeros, which let my team have a good opportunity to score some runs,” he said. “I wouldn’t go as far as best outing of my life, but yes it was a great outing and I look forward to more good outings in the future. My stuff was on. Never know what you got until you are throwing your warm-ups.”
Fitka is just the sixth Alaska pitcher to throw all 9 innings in a NCAA D1 game.
Three of the other five were former players for Alaska Baseball Academy, or have ties to the organization. Max Karnos (ABA 2013/14)