ALTON – Bryan Hudson did it all for the undefeated Alton High baseball team on Monday night.
The 6-foot-8 left-hander proved nearly untouchable on the mound and also smacked a home run as the Redbirds walloped Jersey, 12-0, in a five-inning nonconference game at Moore Park.
While Jersey dropped to 2-2, Alton improved to 3-0. The Redbirds have outscored their opponents 34-2 thus far.
“I like the way I came out and threw,” said Hudson, who has signed with Missouri. Nevertheless, he could get selected in the upcoming Major League Draft and no fewer than 16 scouts at Hopkins Field had to be impressed with his performance against Jersey.
AHS coach Todd Haug added, “Bryan threw well and you have to remember he’s just 10 days to two weeks removed from the hardwood. He had a tremendous basketball season.”
Hudson earned first-team, all-Southwestern Conference honors in assisting the Redbirds on a 27-5 season, including a sectional championship game berth. Now, it’s baseball season and Hudson already has pitched in two of three games. He's 2-0 on the season.
“He was definitely good last year and he’s better this year,” Panthers’ coach Darren Perdun said.
Hudson yielded one hit and struck out nine in a four-inning, 58-pitch outing. He struck out eight consecutive batters in one stretch. Hunter Bryant’s single to right field in the fourth was the only hit off him. AHS reliever Nick Cauley then struck out the side in the fifth.
“Both of them were throwing 92 mph,” Haug said.
Hudson noted, “My goal is to be throwing 95 mph this season.”
The abundance of scouts didn’t deter Hudson, who hit a two-run home run in the third and coaxed a bases-loaded walk in the fourth.
“I cleared my head and stayed focused out there,” Hudson said of pitching in front of big-league suitors. “I don’t let it get to me.”
He thoroughly enjoyed his long home run that sailed far over the right field fence on a chilly night.
“By far, that’s the hardest ball I’ve hit this season,” he said. “The home run lifted my spirits. We used our bats tonight.”
Haug said, “Bryan is getting a lot of looks with his arm, but at the same time, he’s a great left-hander power hitter.”
Jacob Skrabacz stroked a base-loaded triple in an eight-run fourth. Jacob Kanallakan and Aaron Bonnell both drove in two runs and leadoff hitter Steven Nguyen was 3-for-4 with a double. He reached base all four times.
“Our pitching overshadows other aspects of our game, but we can go into a beast mode and rake the ball,” Haug said.
The Redbirds are scheduled to welcome Cahokia in a 4:30 p.m. game Wednesday. They also entertain Civic Memorial in an 11 a.m. doubleheader Saturday.
Jersey, which figures to be a key player in the Mississippi Valley Conference race, intends to regroup, Perdun said.
“The tone for this game was set early when we made a couple of errors,” he said. “We should have been out of the first inning, but we got down 2-0. And we didn’t pitch very well tonight. Alton played well and we didn’t.”
Panthers’ 5-8 lefty starter Will Mortland lasted 3.1 innings before Levin Staples replaced him. Jersey struck out a dozen times and had its only runner picked off first base.
ALTON 12, JERSEY 0
Jersey 000 00 – 0 1 4
Alton 202 8X – 12 8 0
Jersey (2-2) – Bryant 1-2. LP – Mortland IP-3.1 H-5 R-8 ER-4 BB-4 K-2
Alton (3-0) – Nguyen 3-4 2B RBI, Hampton 1-3 2B, Hudson 1-1 HR RBI-3, Kanallakan 1-2 RBI-2, Bonnell 0-2 RBI-2, Phillips 1-3 RBI, Skrabacz 1-2 3B RBI-3. WP – Hudson IP-4 H-1 R-0 B-0 K-9