GREENWICH — The first inning of Tuesday’s game against St. Luke’s School provided Brunswick School’s baseball team with plenty of batting practice.
The Bruins sent 19 batters to the plate in the opening inning, scored 12 runs and gave their starting pitcher Joe Henry a lot of room to work with.
Not that the junior right-hander needed any.
Once Henry finally took the mound after Brunswick’s huge first inning, he was pretty much in control from the start. Striking out 11 batters, Henry pitched a no-hitter in Brunswick’s resounding 15-0 five-inning win over visiting FAA foe St. Luke’s.
Henry hit two batters, walked three and avoided much solid contact over his five innings of work.
“I wasn’t aware that I had a no-hitter going until the very end,” Henry said. “I heard (Nick) Gianuzzi say, ‘no-no,’ it’s the first one of my high school career. I’m glad I got it with this team. I’ve gotten to grow up with these guys for 12 years now.”
The convincing victory raised the Bruins’ record to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in FAA play.
Bruins coach Johnny Montanez was impressed with Henry’s performance throughout.
“It’s great to have a kid experience that,” Montanez said of Henry’s no-hitter. “It’s a tremendous feat for him, for our program and pitching coach Tim Daly, who works with these guys so hard.”
The home team also excelled at the plate, pounding out 12 hits and taking advantage of numerous walks issued by St. Luke’s pitchers Oz Jensen and Nolan O’Brien.
After Henry pitched out of a second-and-third jam in the first inning, Brunswick quickly began to rally against Jensen, a right-hander. Leadoff batter/second baseman Connor Redahan walked, outfielder Jack Griffin singled to left field and junior Leo Socci also worked out a walk, loading the bases with no one out.
Junior first baseman Jake Hyde was hit by a Jensen pitch, forcing in a run and giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Jack Matthews, a junior, delivered a two-run double and third baseman Luke Fisher followed with a two-RBI double, making it 5-0.
“Once one person gets on we just feed off the momentum,” said Fisher, a junior. “He was a little wild and once he was able to throw a couple over the plate, we were able to hit him well.”
Redahan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, putting the Storm in a 6-0 hole. O’Brien, a right-hander, replaced Jensen and Socci greeted him by lining an RBI single, putting the Bruins on top, 8-0. Catcher Marc McGuire hit a two-run double and Fisher drove in a run with a single later in the inning to cap the 12-run first inning.
“Top-to-bottom, there is no weakness in our lineup,” Fisher said.
Said Storm coach Antonio Conte: “The first inning was very tough. We were really proud of Nolan for coming in that situation. I thought he did a good job. Joe Henry is a very good pitcher, but we have to put the ball in play more.”
Fisher had three hits and four RBIs and Matthews had two hits and knocked in four runs for the victors.
Henry wrote on his hand the words, ‘take control of my body,’ during the game.
“I did that mid-game,” he said. “I felt like I was getting relaxed in the second and third inning, because I was able to control my front side.”
He completed his no-hitter with his 11th and final strikeout.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
There were a lot of offensive standouts, but Henry gets the nod with his first career no-hitter.
The Bruins travel to Hopkins School in New Haven for a tough FAA matchup on Wednesday.
“I feel really good about the team right now, we’ve played a lot of good games,” Bruins junior first baseman Jake Hyde said. “We had one hiccup against Hamden Hall (a 5-0 loss), but everyone is hitting the ball well. The pitching has also been good and our fielding has been strong. We are pretty confident going into the end of the season and we hope to continue our momentum in the playoffs.”