As a prelude to joining the University of Delaware program this fall, Brandon Walter put together one of the most stellar seasons in First State high school baseball history this spring at Hodgson Vo-Tech.
The 6-foot-2 left-hander managed to even outdo himself in one outing for his Stahl Post American Legion team.
Walter threw a perfect game in Stahl’s 6-0 victory over R.C. du Pont at Wilson Field on June 30.
The seven-inning epic was the first in 27-time state champion Stahl Post’s illustrious history, and is also believed to be the first in Delaware’s American Legion league, which started play in 1926.
“He was really in total control of that game,” said Stahl Post manager Brian Honeycutt, who threw three no-hitters himself as a William Penn High senior before being drafted in the 13th round by the Minnesota Twins in 1984 and pitching two years of minor-league baseball.
“His curveball was dirty. It was pretty special.”
Walter struck out 14. As for the seven who made contact and had to be retired in the field, no incredible defensive saves were required.
“It was pretty cool,” Walter said.
Walter had thrown no-hitters his sophomore and senior seasons at Hodgson and also tossed one last summer for Stahl, which is based near his New Castle home.
After getting through the R.C. du Pont order once, Walter knew he was on pace for perfection, as did his dugout. Nobody said a word, in keeping with baseball tradition.
But Honeycutt began building a bat teepee, similar to what Virginia had in the College World Series, by tilting three bats together and stacking gloves and other items on and around it each time Walter got an out to keep the mood light.
“I can’t remember anybody hitting anything too hard,” Walter said. “I was feeling good. Then I got mobbed and they threw water on me and everybody treated me to dinner afterward.”
In the game before his perfecto, Walter had struck out 18.
For Hodgson this spring, Walter was 10-1 with a 0.29 ERA and struck out 147 in 72 innings – more than two batters per frame. He finished his high school career with a 23-3 record and 333 strikeouts and just 60 walks in 178 innings with a 0.86 ERA.