Brian Morrell, the Shoreham-Wading River phenom pitcher who is signed to play baseball at Notre Dame next season, threw a no-hitter and carried a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings in a 9-0 victory over East Hampton on Monday.
Morrell struck out 16 and walked only one. It is Morrell’s first no-hitter of the season and fourth of his high school career, Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Willi said.
“He was locating his fastball and his curveball was really good today,” Willi said.
“I felt good after the second inning,” said Morrell, who threw 83 pitches. “I just threw strikes, let the hitters hit and attacked the strike zone. That was the key.”
With supreme focus, Morrell said he didn’t realize what was happening until late in the game.
“I knew toward the fifth or sixth that I didn’t give up any hits, but didn’t know [about the perfect game] until I walked someone in the sixth,” he said.
Morrell’s curveball baffled hitters with precise movement and pinpoint location.
“It always works well when it’s warm out and when I throw it a lot,” Morrell said of his curve. “When I was throwing it a lot in the bullpen, I got a feel for it. I knew going into the game that it would be my strikeout pitch. I just attacked hitters with my fastball first, and my secondary stuff was on today. I figured things out and no one touched me.”
Despite the lore of the accomplishment, Morrell said that no-hitters don’t intimidate him when he’s carrying them.
“A no-hitter is just a no-hitter,” Morrell said. “I try not to think about it when I’m on the mound. But it’s always nice to know that you threw one. It feels good.”
Morrell, as a shortstop/pitcher last spring, became only the fourth junior in 49 years to win the Yastrzemski award, given to Suffolk’s top player.