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LITTLE LEAGUE: In the moment: Brown throws no-hitter, Red Sox win 9-0

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By Metz Camfield

Jacob Brown was doing what his team has played by for the majority of the season. He was living in the moment.

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Brown, the Red Sox starting pitcher Thursday night against the Mets, had walked four batters and another reached on an error, but he hadn’t allowed a hit all game. It wasn’t until Brown threw his final pitch, a called strike giving him six strikeouts for the game, that he was told he just threw a no-hitter.

“This is probably the best game I’ve pitched so far in my baseball career,” Brown said.

For the Red Sox, the performance was dually important. Not only did Brown earn the no-hitter, the Red Sox earned a 9-0 win over the league leading Mets.

“The Mets are a really, really good team,” coach Brad Mitchell said. “… It was a tremendous win. I’m really proud of the boys.”

Heading into the final game of the regular season, coach Brad Mitchell said he had talked to the team about having as few errors as possible because the Mets have been so good at putting the ball in play. The Red Sox were also trying to finalize their seeding and beating the Mets would be huge in doing that.

“We made several plays from third, short, second, and throwing them out,” Brown said. “It was just a good all around win.”

It was only last week that Brown struck out eight batters in 4.2 innings of work. On Thursday, despite pitching 1.1 more innings than the week prior, Brown struck out two batters less. The Red Sox defense though, backed up Brown on balls put in play.

“They hit the ball a lot and they put it in play a lot,” Brown said. “I only struck out (six) people, and the rest of them my fielders helped me out and they backed me up. I knew I had a good backup so I could just throw strikes and let them hit it.”

In the first inning, Brown forced the Mets into three consecutive ground outs to end the inning quickly without allowing a batter to reach base.

In the second inning, Brown walked the first and third batter, but came back and struck out the next two to end the inning and the threat.

Two innings later, the Mets’ Michael Martin hit a slow dribbler that danced along the first base line. The Red Sox fielded the play and tagged Martin but dropped the ball in the process. The play was thus ruled an error, so Brown’s no-hitter was still intact.

Heading into the fifth inning, Red Sox coach Brad Mitchell brought his team together for some words of advice before getting ready to bat. After the short pep talk the team broke the huddle saying, “Bats alive.”

And they certainly did.

Nathan McGregor was the first batter to reach base for the Red Sox thanks to a walk. Singles by Joe Dan Crawford and Ben Simmons then loaded the bases for Jonah Perry.

Perry, perhaps listening to the “G-double-O-D E-Y-E, good eye, good eye, good eye,” chants going on in the dugout, drew a walk from Mets pitcher Logan Stephens, and the 0-0 tie was broken.

“It helps the batter a lot (to do those chants),” said Mason Baker of the Red Sox. “It gets him excited knowing that your team is there for him, and then it gets the pitcher rattled there sometimes, too.”

The Red Sox’s next batter would strikeout to give them two outs in the inning, but the rally caps came out and a snowball effect seemed to come on for the Red Sox.

With the bases still loaded, Robbie Jones drew a walk to bring home another run, and then Baker ripped a bases clearing triple down the right field line to bust the game open.

“It felt good coming off the bat,” Baker said. “Once I hit it I knew it was going pretty far so I looked at my first base coach and he was waving me around so I just kept going.”

A single by Brown then scored Baker, and an inside the park home run by Andrew Mitchell cleared the bases and gave the Red Sox a commanding 8-0 lead.

The Red Sox scored their final run in the sixth inning when Andrew Mitchell got on base with a single. Mitchell would take second and third base on separate wild pitches, and later take home plate as well on a wild pitch.

Still, after the game, the talk was about Brown’s performance, and the Red Sox’s defense behind him. Mitchell said because Brown is one of their 12-year-old all-stars they expect a lot out of him, but he delivered Thursday night.

Staying humble after the big win and no-hit performance, Brown continued to give credit to his teammates playing around him.

“It was a really good game,” Brown said. “I couldn’t have done it by myself. The team helped me out a lot.”

E-mail Metz Camfield at mcamfield@theandersonnews.com.