Brennan Stuprich ’20 Shuts Out Patriots in Game 1

Brother Martin Junior Brennan Stuprich tossed a shutout in the Crusaders' 2-0 victory over John Curtis Thursday at Kirsch-Rooney in Game 1 of the Best of 3 series.

Brother Martin Junior Brennan Stuprich tossed a shutout in the Crusaders' 2-0 victory over John Curtis Thursday at Kirsch-Rooney in Game 1 of the Best of 3 series.


at Kirsch-Rooney, Thursday (May 2), Division I quarterfinal-round playoff game

Records: Brother Martin, 25-5; John Curtis, 15-14


Brennan Stuprich, Brother Martin

Stuprich has gotten the job done on the mound all season for Brother Martin, and Thursday was no different. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior was in complete control throughout the game holding the Patriots scoreless in a complete game effort. He allowed just three hits in the contest while walking one and hitting another, and didn’t allow a baserunner through the first three innings.

In total, Stuprich held Curtis to just four baserunners leaving one on first in the fourth, another on third in the fifth, and one on second in the sixth and seventh frames. He also sat seven Patriot batters down on strikes.


  • It took a while for either team to get on the board in Thursday’s quarterfinal contest and Brother Martin was the first to put together a strong sequence of at-bats. Ethan Moser and Cole Stromboe started the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back walks, and Caden Nash moved both runners over with a sac-bunt. The Crusaders then got the key hit they needed when catcher Jake Dickinson doubled to left-center scoring Moser and Stromboe for a 2-0 Brother Martin lead. Curtis freshman Logan O’Neil battled back for a strikeout in the next at-bat before Joe Delaney singled to short center field. Courtesy runner Shane Griffin took a gamble trying to score from second on the hit, but was gunned down in plenty of time with a throw on a rope from Louisiana-Lafayette commitment Dax Ford.
  • Curtis’ best chance to get on the board came in the fifth inning. Logan O’Neil smacked a one-out single through second and third, and courtesy runner Caleb Spann made his way to third on a groundout by Richard Woodruff. That brought 8-hole hitter Amir Phillips to the plate who’s had a hot bat as of late, but the senior was robbed of a hit with a great diving catch in left field by junior Blaine Starring to end the frame.
  • Curtis had another chance to score in the sixth when Joel Taylor motored his way to second on a hit down the left field line with one out. Brennan Stuprich remained sharp on the mound, though, and forced a pop out to center before striking out Dax Ford to get out of the inning unscathed.
  • Curtis was able to get another runner in scoring position in the final inning after a leadoff single from junior catcher Collin Guggenheim. He was able to make his way to second on an errant pickoff throw to first in the next at-bat, but Brennan Stuprich ended up sitting Austin McCready down on strikes for the first out of the frame. Logan O’Neil followed with a pop out to short and Stuprich got another strikeout to end the game with a breaking ball that dropped into the zone at the last second.


John Curtis – 000 000 0 – 0 3 0

Brother Martin – 000 200 X – 2 4 1


John Curtis: 1, Joel Taylor (SS), 1-3, 2B; 2, Michael Curtis (3B), 0-2, HBP; 3, Dax Ford (CF), 0-2, BB; 4, Collin Guggenheim (C), 1-3; 5, Austin McCready (1B), 0-3; 6, Logan O’Neil (P), 1-3; 7, Richard Woodruff (DH), 0-3; 8, Justin Brown (LF), 0 at-bats; 9, Gareth Leblanc (2B), 0-2. (Amir Phillips, 0-2).

Brother Martin: 1, Joe Delaney (CF), 1-3; 2, Brady Faust (SS), 2-2, BB; 3, Brennan Stuprich (P), 0-3; 4, Tre’ Morgan (1B), 0-1, 2 BB; 5, Ethan Moser (2B), 0-2, BB, RS; 6, Cole Stromboe (RF), 0-1, 2 BB, RS; 7, Caden Nash (DH), 0-2; 8, Jake Dickinson (C), 1-2, 2 RBIs, 2B, BB; 9, Blaine Starring (LF), 0-2. (Shane Griffin, 0-1).

Brother Martin senior Jake Dickinson drove in the only runs of Game 1 on one swing in the bottom of the fourth in the Crusaders' 2-0 victory over John Curtis Thursday at Kirsch-Rooney.

Brother Martin senior Jake Dickinson drove in the only runs of Game 1 on one swing in the bottom of the fourth in the Crusaders' 2-0 victory over John Curtis Thursday at Kirsch-Rooney.


WP: Brennan Stuprich, 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 HB, 7 K.

LP: Logan O’Neil (2-4), 4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 6 BB, 1 K.


  • Threatening baserunners were few and far between with Brother Martin getting three of its 11 runners into scoring position while Curtis got three of its five runners to second or third. The Crusaders left men on first and second on two walks in the first inning, and left two more on second and third on a single and an intentional walk to LSU commitment Tre’ Morgan in the fifth. Curtis left one stranded on third in the fifth and one at second in both the sixth and seventh innings.
  • Brennan Stuprich (player of the game above) went the distance for Brother Martin while Curtis used two pitchers on Thursday. Freshman Logan O’Neil got the start for Curtis, and while he struggled with his control at times walking six, he also gave up just two runs on three hits with a strikeout in four innings. Sophomore Michael Curtis took the mound to start the fifth giving up one hit and an intentional walk with a strikeout in two innings of work.
  • Brother Martin has now won all three matchups of the season series including both district meetings. The Crusaders took the first matchup, 11-1, on March 23, but had to work a lot harder for the next victory winning, 2-1, on March 26.
  • Brother Martin has now seven straight games and 10 of its last 11 dating back to an 11-1 win over Curtis. The Patriots also came into the game hot winning six of their last seven after sweeping 10th-seeded St. Augustine, 5-3, and, 8-5, on March 26 and 27 in their playoff-opening series. Brother Martin had a bye into the quarterfinals as the No. 2 seed.
  • Termites were an absolute nuisance through the third and fourth innings. The flying pests reached their peak in the top of the fourth when multiple players were forced to constantly swipe the critters away in between each at-bat. Luckily, they seemed to largely vanish almost as quickly as they came as the fifth inning progressed.


  • “Coming into the game I knew this was a well-hitting team so I just kept the ball down and trusted my teammates behind me. We’re looking forward to Saturday and going for the sweep. I gave it up a little bit on that pitch but I trusted Blaine (Starring) in the outfield to make that play for me. It came at a big time and I loved the work behind me today.

As a team, one through nine we’re hitting the ball pretty well. Our defense has been phenomenal and I can’t be thankful enough for it. We just want to stick to our approach like coach (Jeff) Lupo says and we’ll be fine (on Saturday).” – Brother Martin Pitcher, Brennan Stuprich

  • “I knew he was struggling with the balls and I was looking fastball because he wasn’t connecting with the curveballs. When (the fastball) was there I just took it.

This win was very important. First wins always matter and if you’re the first person to win a game in the series, you have a better chance to win the whole thing. But I think we’ve got to compete more in the offensive lineup (on Saturday). We were connecting with balls today but sometimes you’ve got to make those drop (for hits). ” – Brother Martin Catcher, Jake Dickinson

  • “It was really a complete team effort. Hits were at a premium for both teams and (Curtis coach) Jeff (Curtis) does a great job with his club and they’re a really quality opponent. Brennan was outstanding on the mound like he’s been all year for us and defensively as a whole, I thought we played pretty clean. Offensively, we got the one timely hit by Jake and he was huge for us tonight. He controlled the game behind the plate and came through with the big hit like a senior who’s prepared himself to be in that spot. Couldn’t be more proud of Jake and the entire team, it was a total team effort

(Blaine Starring’s diving catch in the fifth) was a big play and that saved a couple of runs right there. Like I’ve said, at this point in the year, players have to make plays when the opportunity presents itself and it just shows their character how they’ve prepared themselves to be here and I’m proud of them.” – Brother Martin Head Coach, Jeff Lupo

  • “Absolutely (we expected it to be difficult to score against Brennan Stuprich) and they made a huge defensively play when they had to make it (with Blaine Starringlaying out in left field. Baseball’s a game of inches, especially in this league, and if that ball gets down on the dive it’s probably a triple with a run in and who knows what could happen from there. But tip your cap to them for making that defensive play and good job by Collin (Guggenheim) leading off in the seventh and applying a little pressure.

I just told our guys we got everything we wanted out of this game except the ‘W.’ We still have Dax (Ford) ready to go on Saturday so we feel good about our chances.

I know they’ve got (Brandon) Bonura and (Jake) Cohen and they’ve got two capable guys too. We feel really good about Game 1 on Saturday with Dax on the mound and you get into Game 3 and it’s a grind and anything can happen at that point. You’re playing for Sulphur and at this point that’s all you can ask for.” – John Curtis coach Jeff Curtis


Game 2 of the 3-game series begins Saturday at 2 p.m. at Kirsch-Rooney. Game 3 will follow tentatively at 4:30 p.m. if necessary.

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