St. Laurence’s Brad Wood no-hits St. Rita

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It wasn’t until the fourth inning when St. Laurence starter Brad Wood realized he was doing something special.

“Around the fourth I started looking at the scoreboard every inning,” Wood said. “I didn’t want to say anything — nobody really said anything — but I knew I had something going.”

What was going was everything Wood threw.

Wood fired a no-hitter Monday as No. 3 St. Laurence topped No. 2 St. Rita 7-0 in a Catholic League Blue clash featuring two of the top teams in the state.

The loss was the first this season for host St. Rita (22-3, 9-1) to an opponent from Illinois.

“It’s their first loss in Illinois, plus they’re one rank ahead of us and one of our biggest rivals,” Wood said. “It’s probably the best time I could’ve had this game — especially on their field.”

Wood (4-1) finished with five strikeouts and five walks for the Vikings (17-5, 10-1). He was backed up by two double plays from the Vikings defense.

“I don’t know what was with him,” St. Laurence catcher T.J. Marik said. “He threw one of the best games I’ve ever caught.”

Marik, an Austin Peay recruit, hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning off his future college teammate, fellow Austin Peay recruit Mike Costanzo (7-1), for a 4-0 Vikings lead.

“Costanzo is probably my best friend,” Marik said. “When I got up to the plate, I blacked everything out and started hacking as hard as I could.”

With Wood cruising, Marik’s longball seemed to sap the energy from St. Rita.

“Wood was pounding the strike zone,” St. Rita coach Mike Zunica said. “Fastball, fastball, fastball. I thought we did a bad job of staying aggressive.”

Wood’s no-hitter follows his shutout of Providence on April 22.

“To get a shutout against a team like St. Rita is phenomenal. I’m almost speechless,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “He had one inning where he lost it a little bit, but he came right back at it and that’s what good pitchers do.”

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