The Bennett Musser-Danny Connelly battery has been together since both were 10 years old. So Connelly, the catcher, knows when Musser has his best stuff.
“Bennett’s fastball has always been dominant and when he locates his changeup and his curveball he’s basically unhittable,” Connelly said.
That’s exactly what happened on Friday in Joliet.
“His offspeed [stuff] was on today,” Connelly said.
It resulted in 5 2/3 no-hit innings for Musser as the Mustangs cruised to a 12-0 win against McHenry in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A baseball state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field.
“When I play my best is when I pitch to contact,” Musser said. “When all three pitches are working I get ground balls and weak contact. It’s a lot easier when we get some runs.”
Musser pitched all seven innings and allowed just one hit and no runs. He struck out four and walked three.
The Mustangs (29-5) led 2-0 early and erupted for four runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach.
Michael Farinea, Daniel Pacella, Christian Seminaro, Connor Wik and Connelly all had two hits. Pacella and Weik each drove in two runs.
“I’m so proud of all these guys,” Mundelein coach Randy Lerner said. “From day one our goal has been the state championship. We’ve been struggling offensively the past couple of games. Today we stayed nice and loose and got Bennett a couple runs and he had an unbelievable performance.”
The Mustangs will face Edwardsville in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Cooper Cohn had the only hit for McHenry (30-9), which will face Brother Rice in the third place game.