Even now freshman Raymond Morales just talks about himself as a guy who can throw strikes on the mound, even with a five-inning perfect game to his credit in his second appearance as a pitcher for Bullard-Havens.
“He told me at the beginning of the year he didn’t pitch,” coach Nick Moreira said. “He pitched one other game and did a nice job, but the team didn’t back him up.”
The Tigers defeated Vinal Tech 19-0 on Monday at Beardsley Park in Bridgeport. Morales struck out 10 and needed only 54 pitches, Moreira said.
Morales, primarily a middle infielder, said he realized what was happening around the fourth inning.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.
Morales throws a fastball and a curve and got ahead consistently on Monday, Moreira said.
“He’s a gritty player,” the coach said. “He works hard. He always comes to play.”
Junior Bryan Vasquez was 3-for-3 with a walk, a double, a triple and an inside-the-park home run. And on top of that five-RBI day (all with a wood bat), he made one of the key defensive plays, too.
“We had a ground ball to short take an interesting hop,” Moreira said. “It hit off (Vasquez’s) chest. It was a bang-bang play at first. He’s got a strong arm.”
Morales said the team’s defense has come along in the first few games, over which the Tigers are 1-4.
“At the beginning we were beating ourselves from defense. Now we’re making more plays,” he said. “We were always swinging the bat pretty well.”