In an illustrious high school baseball career, Cherry Hill (N.J.) West High pitcher Brenden DelMonte has thrown a no-hitter and led his team to numerous key victories. Still, what he achieved on Monday may be hard to top: DelMonte struck out 17 consecutive batters in leading Cherry Hill West to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory against Pennsauken (N.J.) High.
According to Philly.com, DelMonte -- who will pitch for Navy in 2013 -- didn't record a strikeout against the first couple batters he faced. He did, however, strike out the third and fourth batter, then proceeded to strike out the side in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth inning.
DelMonte struck out one more batter in the seventh -- he finished with 18 total strikeouts in a complete-game, seven-inning performance -- but he also gave up a surprising run, setting the stage for his teammates to launch a furious, two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to land DelMonte a well-earned victory.
The win came just more than two weeks after DelMonte's first career no-hitter, a gem he spun in a rivalry game against Cherry Hill (N.J.) East High. For a prospect who had never pitched before his freshman year, that's one heck of a month.
"It was a great atmosphere," DelMonte told the Inquirer after his no hitter. "To throw a no-hitter against our biggest rival with a lot of fans here in this stadium, it was something special.
"I really didn't pitch until freshman year. I didn't even realize I had a no-hitter until the last inning, and then I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to jinx it."
There's no jinxing 17 straight strikeouts. That's just talent, and DelMonte clearly has plenty of it, as other teams on Cherry Hill West's schedule may discover all too soon.