Flowery Branch senior pitcher Patrick Henry was in a zone on Thursday night in the Flowery Branch Invitational.
The Falcons’ (4-0) ace right-handed starter had a lock on his accuracy, a touch for precision and a good balance in his pitches as he struck out 11 Lakeview Academy hitters and recorded the second no-hitter of his career, in a five-inning 10-0 win at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
“I love it,” Henry said. “Earning a no-hitter is always tough.”
With the win, Flowery Branch won the tournament it hosts with wins in the last six days against Buford, West Hall, Mount Pisgah and the Lions.
Henry struck out eight batters against West Hall earlier in the week. His previous no-hitter came against Chestatee last year, where the Valdosta State signee recorded a career-high 15 batters.
On Thursday, Henry kept the Lakeview Academy (1-3) hitters guessing from the start by striking out six of the first seven hitters he faced. He only allowed two walks and three batters to reach base.
“I thought Patrick was off a little early, leaving the ball up in the zone,” Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Lawler said. “But he has enough velocity on the ball to get by.
“As the season progresses, he’ll have to get away from leaving the ball up.”
The Falcons’ pitching early in the season has been strong allowing only five runs in four games (two shutouts).
“It’s nice to be 4-0, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Lawler added.
Meanwhile, Flowery Branch’s offense gave the defense ample run support.
Greg Palmer led the Falcons with two hits and three RBIs. His two RBI single in the fourth scored Travis Coxworth and Chad Rackley for the final runs of the game.
Rackley had two singles and drove in Brad Stone during the four-run fourth inning.
Henry also accounted for two runs in the first inning. He had a sacrifice fly to score Stone, and the Falcons’ pitcher came around to score on a wild pitch.
Danny Price added a triple for Flowery Branch.
The Falcons’ hitting with runners in scoring position was a welcomed change for their coach. Lawler said his team was 0-for-6 with the bases loaded this season going into the game against the Lions.
“We did much better with our situational hitting against Lakeview,” Lawler said.
Lakeview Academy visits Tallulah Falls at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Flowery Branch plays host to Chestatee at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to open the Region 7-AAA schedule.