"It was a great atmosphere," Del Monte said of playing in the Camden Riversharks' stadium. "To throw a no-hitter against our biggest rival with a lot of fans here in this stadium, it was something special."
Cherry Hill West (7-1), ranked No. 5 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, rapped 10 hits. Freshman third baseman A.J. Wright, the No. 9 hitter, was 2 for 2 with a double. Junior shortstop Brad Machinski, the No. 8 hitter, drove in the game's first two runs with a sharp single in the second.
"It was nice to see that," Cherry Hill West coach Dan McMaster said of the production at the bottom of the batting order. "Our '8' and '9' hitters got us started. What I liked was how they all battled all game long.
"They stayed hungry to try to tack on more runs because they know East is a team that could get back in the game in a hurry."
The Lions scored three in the fifth and four in the sixth to break open a tight game and win the battle of Cherry Hill in walk-off fashion on the 10-run rule. They've won six in a row, outscoring opponents, 52-8.
"We're on a nice little wave of momentum right now," McMaster said.
Cherry Hill East (5-3) had two baserunners in the first, third, fifth, and sixth innings as Del Monte walked four and hit two batters. Two other Cherry Hill East hitters reached by error.
"We had our chances, but you can't win if you don't hit," Cherry Hill East coach Erik Radbill said. "We couldn't get a couple of bunts down, and that hurt us. Then Del Monte really settled down later in the game."
Del Monte, who has committed to attend the Naval Academy, struggled to command his curveball early in the game. But he struck out the side in the fourth. He ended the fifth and sixth innings with strikeouts, both looking and both with two runners on base.
"He absolutely got stronger as the game went along," McMaster said.
Del Monte said he had never pitched a no-hitter, not even in Little League.
"I really didn't pitch until freshman year," he said. "I didn't even realize I had a no-hitter until the last inning, and then I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to jinx it."
Cherry Hill East 000 000 - 0 0 1
Cherry Hill West 030 034 - 10 10 2
WP: Brenden DelMonte.
LP: Kurt Taylor.
2B: CHW-A.J. Wright, Brenden DelMonte.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, email@example.com, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports