At an Oyster River High School baseball game few weeks ago, junior Brennen Oxford took the mound. He didn’t know it, but he was about to throw a no-hitter.
At his next game, he did it again.
Then, to everyone’s great surprise, he threw two more no-hitters, which brought his streak up to four consecutive games. This remarkable show of talent earned Oxford a few headlines, including on Major League Baseball’s website.
Oxford is scheduled to take the mound again as a starting pitcher tomorrow. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.
In your most recent game, you gave up a few hits. Does that mean your streak is officially over?
No, it was just a relief appearance. So the consecutive innings streak is over, but my consecutive no-hitters streak isn’t, since it wasn’t a start.
You said your last no-hitter was the best of the four. Why was that?
I kept my pitch count real low, and I pretty much did what I wanted instead of having to conform to getting behind in the count. I was ahead of the count most of the time. So I could pretty much do what I wanted throughout the game and control the game from the pitcher’s mound.
Do you have a particular pitch you think is strong?
I think my slider really combats against my fastball, because the slider’s significantly slower than the fastball, but you can’t really tell until it’s about ten feet from home plate, so usually it gets batters off balance and they don’t tend to hit it a lot.
You’ve got another starting appearance on Friday, are you nervous?
No, not really. It’s just another game.
I’ll probably be nervous in the morning going into it—I usually get nervous the morning of game days. By lunch time I’m usually ready to go and all the nerves are gone.
Are you surprised you’ve been able to keep up this streak?
Yeah, I’m pretty surprised—It’s not really a thing that happens very often. There had to have been a little bit of luck behind it too.
You plan on going to Wake Forest University. For those of us who aren’t familiar with college ball, how important is it to play for Wake Forest?
It’s very important—they’re a really good Division I team, and I hope I’ll be developed on my way to get drafted one day, and it’ll help me progress.
Have you been in touch with any scouts from the majors?
No, they usually go through my club coach.
Next, will you be aiming for a perfect game?
I’m just going to go out and try to throw the best that I can, and just throw well, help my team get a win, and hopefully get us the four seed so we get a buy-in to playoffs.
What kind of advice are you getting from your coaches?
Pretty much, just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t let the streak get to my head and continue to pitch the way I’m pitching.
I’m pretty much going with the same basic mentality in every game—if something happens, it happens. It doesn’t really bother me that much.
You seem like you’re able to keep a cool head.
Yeah—when I’m not on the field I’m kind of a happy person, but when I’m playing I tend to be pretty serious.