Junior John Masella carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out a career-high 13 batters in a complete game effort to keep Delbarton undefeated in 2012 with a 4-1 victory over NJAC rival Roxbury.
The Green Wave actually trailed early when Roxbury used some good small ball to manufacture a first inning run from a leadoff walk, however Delbarton would rally for three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame and that’s all Masella would need.
“Johnny pitched an incredible game, it’s not every day you see 13 strikeouts in a seven-inning game so his stuff was really on today,” said Kevin Kennedy, who got the Green Wave scoring started with an RBI single. “When he struck out the side in the fourth I said, OK, he’s definitely on today and we owed it to him to be good behind him defensively.”
You hear coaches and analysts at every level talk about changing speeds and locating and that was certainly the recipe for success as far as Masella was concerned. In addition to his wicked yacker, Masella was able to locate his fastball and changeup consistently which kept Roxbury’s hitters off balance.
“I was a little nervous in the first but I bore down and it was huge to get out only giving up one run,” said Masella. “By the third, I knew I was in the zone, I felt good out there and the curve was really working for me today. I was getting out in front of it and usually it’s not quite that sharp, but today, it had a ton of bite to it and I could throw it for a strike.”
Masella fanned all but one hitter in the Roxbury lineup at least once and at one point had struck out five-straight without anyone making contact. After the fourth inning fans and teammates alike began to sense Masella’s greatness and the possibility of a no-no.
“I think there were some whispers around the fourth inning that he had a no-hitter going and I really wanted to see him do it,” said center fielder Dennis Bencsko. “Regardless, he was unbelievable, I don’t know if I have ever seen someone throw 13 strikeouts in a game. He was absolutely on fire today.”
A single through the hole between third and short eventually broke up the bid, but the Gales would never reach third base again as Masella would finish what he started to preserve the 4-1 win.
The Lafayette-bound senior Dennis Bencsko has picked up right where he left off after batting .365 in 2011, going 2-3 with a triple and an RBI against Roxbury which gives him 9 hits and 6 RBI’s in five games thus far in 2012.
If Delbarton wishes to stay unbeaten this season it will have to contend with a quick turnaround and one of the top teams in the state when it travels to Don Bosco Prep for an 11 a.m. showdown with the Ironmen tomorrow.
“They’re great, we know we will have to play a great game to beat them,” said Bencsko. “Were really excited about the challenge though, it’s a great chance to see where we stand and we’re looking to keep this win streak going.”
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