Brunswick baseball on the FAA attack, thump Storm


Brunswick School starting pitcher Bradley Wilpon fires the ball to the plate during Monday’s game against St. Luke’s School. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The Brunswick School baseball team is firing on all cylinders, which is a bad sign for the rest of the Fairchester Athletic Association.

After a slow start to the regular season, the Bruins are finding ways to pull out victories. On a cold and windy Monday afternoon on the King St. campus, Brunswick was able to get stellar pitching from Bradley Wilpon, solid defense to back him up, timely hitting and aggressive baserunning to blast St. Luke’s 12-2.

“The boys have been working really hard and it shows,” Brunswick head coach Johnny Montanez said. “We got a good, experienced bunch and they are mixed in with as much talented freshmen as we’ve ever had here. We got ourselves a really solid baseball team. For them to jump out ahead and put a seven spot on the board isn’t anything new. They do that when they are focused and are playing their best. We were playing a good St. Luke’s team.”

While the Brunswick offense was on full display against the Storm, Bradley Wilpon did his best to keep the St. Luke’s offense at bay.

On the mound, Wilpon was light’s out throughout most of the contest. In four innings of work, the Brunswick pitcher gave up one hit and struck out nine, including retiring the side via the strikeout in the fourth inning. The only other St. Luke’s players that reached base were the four that earned walks and the two that reached base on a Brunswick error.

“I thought as the game progressed, I felt increasingly better,” Wilpon said. “Definitely towards the later innings, I commanded the zone more and started commanding all my pitches. It felt good towards the end and I’ll build on that for my next start.”

Although St. Luke’s took advantage of a walk and two Brunswick errors to grab the early 1-0 lead, it didn’t last long, as the Bruins knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning.

Ryan Hardin started things off by reaching base after being hit by a pitch. After stealing both second and third, Hardin came across to score when Billy O’Malley hit a sacrifice to short.

Brunswick's Sam Fraser gets greeted by his teammates after belting a two-run homer against St. Luke's. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Brunswick’s Sam Fraser gets greeted by his teammates after belting a two-run homer against St. Luke’s. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The Bruins took over the game in the bottom of the second inning, scoring eight times and sending 11 batters to the plate. Justin Cedeno started the inning off with a double. Hardin, along with O’Malley, Nick Kono and Will Solomon each added singles in the inning, while Jonny Mills drew a walk. Both Michael Marzonie and Chris Hart each reached base on St. Luke’s defensive errors.

The biggest hit in the inning came off the bat of Sam Fraser, who belted a two-run homer over the left center field wall.

From there, Wilpon was able to settle down and play stress-free baseball.

“Once you’ve given a pitcher like Bradley the lead like that, he knows that he just has to pound the strike zone,” Montanez said. “It’s not getting fancy and tricking hitters, it’s now about getting ahead of hitters, throwing strikes , making your teammates work and getting yourself out of there. You want to get back into the dugout as quick as possible when you’re hitting as well as we are right now.”

After going quietly in the third inning, Brunswick added three more points to the score in the fourth inning. With two outs, Hart unloaded on a double and Solomon reached base when he was hit by a pitch. Up next was Marzonie, who laced a deep two-out double that drove home both Solomon and Hart. Hardin helped Marzonie reach the plate when he smacked a single to left field.

Although Fraser smacked a hard single to move Hardin into scoring position, St. Luke’s was able to get the final out and stop the bleeding.

The Storm were able to add a run in the top of the fifth to keep the game going, but Brunswick was able to score once in the bottom of the fifth to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

With one out, Kono connected on a single and stole both second and third base. Two batters later, Hart hit a slow roller to the pitcher that was bobbled. Kono was able to come home and score on the error to end the game.

“My team has been supporting me every single game with run support and we are really starting to gel as a team,” Wilpon said. “We are starting to win some big games, so that’s’ good. I think we are on the rise. Ever since we lost that game to Hamden Hall, which was a tough loss, we’ve been working hard. It’s starting to pay off.”

With the victory, Brunswick upped its record to 7-5 and 5-2 in the FAA and are starting to show the characteristics of a championship team. That wasn’t the case early in the season. After winning only one preseason game, a 5-3 victory over Deerfield Academy, Brunswick started the regular season 1-4. However that’s when the wins started coming, as Brunswick went on a four-game winning streak and beat Kent School (4-2), Greens Farms Academy (16-0), King School (9-4) and Masters (8-2).

“The good news is that I don’t think we are good as we can be yet,” Montanez said. “I still think there is a lot of room for us to improve. We are playing with tremendous heart and poise. We also have tremendous leadership on this team. It’s now making sure that we don’t take any steps backwards. We are going to continue to work our tail off and give it our best shot, game in and game out.”

Yesterday afternoon, the Bruins took to the diamond against Hopkins, who beat Wick 7-3 back on April 3. Last year Brunswick beat Hopkins to win the FAA championship. Results of the game against the Hilltoppers were unavailable at press time.

On Saturday afternoon, Brunswick will be back in action when they travel to Rye Country Day School for a game that gets underway at 1.

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