The Brunswick School baseball team did not know whether it would be able to play the opening round playoff game against Greens Farms Academy on Monday. It had been alternating between drizzling and pouring rain all day, and games across the county were being postponed.
The game went on as planned, though, and the Bruins were glad it did. Brunswick took advantage of sloppy GFA defense and five walks given up by Dragons pitching. The Bruins also banged out eight hits to clobber GFA in a five-inning, mercy-rule shortened victory, 13-2, to move on to the Fairchester Athletic Association semifinals.
"I would have liked to have had our first playoff game in nice, sunny, spring weather. But, you know, we got a win out of it," Brunswick starting pitcher Brian Shutzman said. "We lost the last game of the [regular] season so we wanted to come into today with a great attitude, and we have a lot of momentum now."
The Bruins gave Shutzman plenty of run support early. Pete Harris roped a two-run single in the first, followed by Shutzman's RBI single. Will Preziosi singled in two more runs in the second. Three batters later, Harris drove in his third run with an RBI groundout.
That was more than enough for Shutzman, who struggled with walks but escaped relatively unscathed. He gave up just three hits in five innings pitched. Brunswick head coach Johnny Montanez was ready to pull Shutzman in the fourth when the Dragons scored and loaded the bases, but the righty talked his way into staying. Shutzman did not allow another base runner and finished the shortened game.
After the win, Montanez reserved the most praise for someone not even on his team. "I have to say the MVP of this game is Chuck Redahan and the grounds crew here at Brunswick," Montanez said. "They worked the entire day making sure we could play this game, getting the field ready. This win is because of them."
Brunswick moves on to the FAA semifinals to face either Hamden Hall or the Masters School. The other three quarterfinal games were rained out.
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