Minnehaha Academy pitcher Brock Brumley throws hard in the third inning against Holy Angels in a 2-0 complete game shutout win. Photo by John Molene, SportsEngine
In a low-scoring game at Donaldson Field on a cold Thursday afternoon, Minnehaha Academy relied on defense to defeat Holy Angels 2-0 and remain one of the state's hottest teams.
Redhawks starting pitcher Brock Brumley gave up four hits and struck out three in seven innings to earn the win and improve to 6-1 on the season.
More importantly, the right-hander helped hold the soaring Stars -- who had won their last four games by the combined score of 32-11 -- without a run in seven innings, lowering his ERA to an impressive 1.19.
While no stranger to winning with offense, Minnehaha Academy (one of the highest scoring teams in the state with 144 runs 18 games) turned to its defense on Thursday to record its 15 consecutive victory.
Redhawks coach Scott Glenn said defense and pitching are huge parts of the team’s identity this season.
“I think that’s kind of our cornerstone. . . that’s what were gonna need to have success in the playoffs,” he added.
Brumley’s pitching was key against Holy Angels, however, he gave a lot of credit to his catcher and the defense behind him.
“They kept the runners on third and second in the last couple innings," Brumley said. "Noah [Dehne] made a huge catch at the end that would have scored a run or two, [and the] outfield tracking those fly balls, that was great.”
Brumley also said his team's ability to avoid making many errors helped it keep control of the game.
Glenn praised Brumley's performance and said the sophomore is showing he's in good form at the right time.
“Brock was very effective, he was throwing lots of strikes so his pitch count was down, which allowed him to go deep into the game," Glenn said.
Brumley has emerged as one of the Redhawks' top pitchers. He was a member of last year's Class 2A state championship team, but saw little time on the mound, finishing with regular season with a 1-0 record and 12 strikeouts in eight innings.
His 0.88 ERA as a freshman foreshadowed what was to come, as he gave up only one run and nine hits in this three appearances a year ago. Brumley pitched two innings in the second playoffs, finishing with four strikeouts, two walks and a 3.50 ERA, but did not take the mound at state.
Holy Angels coach Mike Rothstein was impressed by Brumley's performance, especially with how the 10th-grader mixed up his pitches and made it difficult for the Stars to get hits.
The Redhawks will need to continue playing well defensively to reach their goal of repeating as state champions. Brumley said they just need to be themselves.
“We just need to keep our style of play going,” Brumley said. “. . .We’re loud, we’re crazy, get the pitcher out of the game quick. We’re grinders.”
Pitcher Brock Brumley makes the throw to Minnehaha Academy first baseman Johnny Goth before Nick Campion of Holy Angels can reach the base.
After three scoreless innings, Minnehaha Academy broke the tie and went on to beat the Holy Angels 2-0 in an intraclass clash between two ranked teams at Donaldson Park on Thursday.
The defending Class 2A champions struck in the fourth inning. Alex Evenson opened the inning with a double, and Bennett Theisen sent Evenson home with a single to give a 1-0 lead to the Redhawks (17-1), ranked No. 2 in the state coaches' Class 2A poll.
Minnehaha Academy added a second run in the fifth when Alexander Jordan hit a single to assist Noah Dehne’s run.
The No. 4-3A Stars (13-5) struggled to put runs on the board. They had a runner on third in the final inning, but couldn’t start a comeback. The Redhawks made plays on defense to keep the home team scoreless.
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Holy Angels shortstop Jack Pierazek tries to corral an infield hit.