It took almost two decades for a Westland John Glenn baseball pitcher to throw a no-hitter, then less than two hours for a second Rocket to almost throw another.
During the first game of Wednesday afternoon’s double-header against visiting Lincoln Park, John Glenn senior left-hander Brendan Wetmore zeroed in on his school’s first no-no since 1996 when he stymied the Railsplitters’ bats during a 7-1 victory.
Wetmore struck out seven, walked three and was aided by a couple of spectacular defensive plays, the most notable being freshman third baseman Brian Martin’s diving, back-handed stab of a grounder down the line that robbed the Railsplitters’ lead-off batter of a sure-thing double in the top of the seventh.
It was Martin’s turn to shine on the hill in the nightcap as he carried a perfect game into the final frame of the Rockets’ 9-0 victory until Lincoln Park’s first batter in the seventh laced a solid single to spoil the bid, but not diminish the freshman’s accomplishment.
“Brendan would get ahead with a fastball and then he’d throw a nice breaking ball,” said John Glenn head coach Lawrence Scheffer, when asked about Wetmore’s repertoire. “He’s a good little pitcher, and he’s smart.
“Brian throws harder than Brendan and he has a nice curve, too. They both pitched great.”
Scheffer also raved about another facet of the game his team has excelled at during the season’s early going.
“Our defense has been strong, and that makes me happy because that’s what we stress all the time,” he said. “We’re big on making the routine plays, and the kids are buying into it.”
In addition to Martin’s web gem in the first game, left-fielder Jacob Damian made a sweet catch while sprinting toward the left-field line in the fourth inning.
One inning later, second baseman Kevin Brewer gloved a sizzling one-hopper that appeared headed to right field, spun and threw out the batter by two strides to keep Wetmore’s no-hitter intact.
John Glenn actually trailed 1-0 early in the first game after the Railsplitters tallied an unearned run in the first.
The Rockets secured the lead for good in the bottom of the second when Damian led off with a single, Bernard Snell walked and they both came around to score on two wild pitches and two more free passes, the last of which Wetmore drew with the bases loaded.
The Rockets gave Wetmore some breathing room in the fourth when Brewer drew a lead-off walk, stole second and came home on Wetmore’s double. Wetmore later scored on a passed ball and Zach Croft made it 5-1 when he scored from third on a ground-out by Martin.
Wetmore, Martin and Snell all went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the second game. Jordan Fuchs also added a ribbie.
Connor Gawne caught Wetmore’s no-hitter before giving way to Noah Damian, who was behind the dish for Martin’s near-perfect game.