It has been quite a week for former Sam Houston State pitcher Justin Jackson. On July 13 he picked up his first professional win, playing for the Gulf Coast League Marlins. On Wednesday afternoon he stepped it up a notch.
Jackson, along with two teammates tossed a perfect game against the GCL Astros. Jackson, who got the start, worked the first six innings, retiring all 18 batters he faced. Patrick Merkling pitched one inning of relief and Dane Stone closed out the last two frames for the perfect game. In his six innings of work, Jackson struck out six hitters and induced seven ground-ball outs.
"I knew I hadn't pitched from the stretch," said Jackson in an interview with MiLB.com, who had never been a part of a no-hitter.
Jackson estimated he threw about 70 pitches and understood why he was lifted two-thirds of the way through the game.
"That's not the name of the game down here," he said, referring to the developmental aspect of the Rookie-level league.
The Astros lineup featured No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa, who grounded out and popped out in his two at bats against Jackson.
In six appearances this season for the GCL Marlins, Jackson is now 2-1 on the year, having made four starts, including the last three. He has an ERA of 1.57 in 23 innings of work, allowing just nine hits and four runs. He has recorded 16 strikeouts, just four walks while allowing opposing hitters an average of .115.
Jackson was selected in June in the 27th round by the Miami Marlins. He finished his senior season 9-4 for the Bearkats, including a victory in the NCAA Tournament keeping the Kasts alive in the postseason. He was the 827th overall player selected.
He led the team in wins and was second on the club with a 2.69 ERA. He struck out 65 batters this season and tossed a pair of complete games.
He finished his career with a record of 15-6 and notched 152 strikeouts and a 3.95 ERA. His strikeout mark is 17th best in school history. This past season Jackson was name an All-Southland honorable mention selection.
Jackson was the 41st Bearkat selected in the Major League Baseball draft. It is the seventh straight season the Bearkats have had at least one players selected.