Brian Brown has been a lights-out pitcher for Coatesville this season, striking out 62 and yielding only seven hits in 38 innings. He has yet to allow an earned run.
Those numbers are more impressive considering the ace lefthander has been dealing with his mother's health problems. Debra Brown has kidney cancer and recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor.
"She's getting better every day, thankfully," Brian Brown said. "Baseball has helped keep my mind off it."
Veteran Red Raiders coach Hal Ziegler said Brown was "really stressed" about his mother's illness earlier this season and dropped about eight pounds.
"He's a kid that keeps things to himself, but you could see he wasn't the same person," Ziegler said. "He's doing better now."
Did Brown toss around the idea of stepping away from the team?
"No," he said matter-of-factly. "My mom wouldn't want me to do that. She loves the game. She comes every chance she gets."
Showing his resolve, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior has fired two seven-inning no-hitters this season against Ches-Mont League opponents. He posted 13 and 11 strikeouts in wins over West Chester East and Oxford, respectively.
"It's a great feeling," Brown said. "It doesn't happen too often, so you have to enjoy it when it does."
Brown is 5-0 for Coatesville, which is 8-7 overall and 8-6 in Ches-Mont action. Last year, in leading the Red Raiders to the District 1 Class AAAA title, he went 9-0 with a 0.31 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 681/3 innings.
Of this year's perfect ERA, Ziegler said, "If someone gets on first base, that's one thing. If someone gets to second, he becomes a different pitcher. He won't allow it to get past that."
Brown, who doubles as a first baseman and will pitch at North Carolina State, mixes a fastball clocked in the mid-80s-m.p.h. range, a change-up, a slider, and a curveball. He hit 89 m.p.h. on the radar gun last summer.
His weapon of choice is the change-up.
"I've been throwing it since middle school, and I can throw it at any point in the count," he said.
Last summer, Brown played for Dave Amaro's Philly Bandits travel squad and the Louisiana-based Marucci Elite showcase team. With the latter, he played in Arizona and Florida and at Citi Field in New York.
"That's how you get better, by pitching against some of the top hitters out there," Brown said. "The better the competition, the better I like it."
Reunion. Players and coaches from Germantown Academy's 2004 squad, which went 32-2 overall and 10-0 in Inter-Ac League play, will be recognized before and during the game against La Salle at 1 p.m. Saturday.
That year, the Patriots, coached by Craig Conlin and led by pitcher-outfielder Sean Grieve, outscored opponents 276-50. They finished ranked No. 1 in the area.
Extra bases. Malvern Prep's pitching staff has been anchored by Brendan Inglis (0.98 ERA), Chris Butera (1.43), and Gardner Nutter (2.25). . . . Episcopal Academy's Mark Washington is 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 28 innings. Teammate Ben Burman is batting .424 with 15 runs and 15 RBIs. . . . Marple Newtown's Seth Bower and Ricky Collings are hitting .472 and .436, respectively.
Harriton's Max Bershad is 2-1 with a 0.36 ERA and 17 Ks in 191/3 innings. Teammates Andre Pendleton and Jimmy Bredt are batting .500 and .458, respectively. . . . Holy Ghost Prep's Ryan Malloy is batting .486 with 16 runs and 14 RBIs. . . . Downingtown West's Ken Jarema is hitting .405. . . . North Penn's Jared Melone is batting .500 with five home runs and a .905 slugging percentage.
Lower Moreland's Jordan Pocrass is hitting .519. . . . For Germantown Friends, Thomas Primosch is 4-2 with a 1.00 ERA and 27 Ks in 28 innings.