Wilson Hall's Reynolds tosses no-hitter en route to Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week


When Wilson Hall hosted Trinity Collegiate for a critical region matchup on March 21, Ben Reynolds was unhittable.


The Wilson Hall senior carried the Barons to a 6-0 victory without allowing a hit, earning Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week honors in the process.

"It means everything," Reynolds said of the support from the Baron community. "Any time any athlete does well, whether it's breaking a school record or getting Athlete of the Week, there's not a single person you walk past that doesn't say congratulations or good job. It's such a family atmosphere that is so supportive. I'm grateful to have that kind of environment."

Reynolds knew the importance of the game. After beating Trinity earlier in the week, the Barons had a chance to step into the driver's seat of the region with another victory.

"I was, not nervous, but kinda amped up for it, ready to go," Reynolds said. "My whole mindset was just to throw strikes because I know my defense behind me is going to make plays, and that's exactly what they did."

Head coach Jay Jones knew that he can always trust Reynolds to put in a strong performance as the ace of the pitching staff. He wasn't shocked that Reynolds was able to deliver under high stakes.

"Ben had kinda been our No. 1 since he was in the 10th grade, and any time there's a big game, doesn't matter home or away or who it is, you can always count on Ben to be the one asking for the ball," Jones said. "He has confidence, and whenever he's dialed in and he can command his three pitches for strikes, he's a tough out.

"You could tell in the first inning. I think he buzzed through the first inning with like nine pitches or something silly. You could tell he was on."

Actually, it was only eight.

Reynolds opened the game with a four-pitch strikeout and a first-pitch ground out before the third batter stared at three-straight strikes to mow through the inning. He added two more strikeouts in the second, though he hit a batter in the process.

In the bottom of the second, the Barons got on the board with two runs, and that was more than enough for the senior pitcher. He got three more quick outs in the third to keep rolling. At that point, he knew he was locked in.

"I realized I really had a chance to go the whole game without giving up a hit after the third inning," he said. "I was throwing strikes still. I had command of all three of my pitches, and my defense was playing incredible defense behind me."

Trinity got two runners on in the fourth inning on a walk and an error, but Reynolds easily pitched around the miscues to keep the no-hitter rolling. After he walked off the mound and shared high-fives with his teammates, Reynolds felt the energy shift slightly in the dugout.

"As soon as I walked in, they all told each other to stop talking and started shushing each other. I knew they were talking about it and didn't wanna say anything around me to jinx it," Reynolds said. "It was a really good dugout environment. Everyone was pretty upbeat and had a lot of energy. Everyone knew there was a chance I could throw a no-hitter and wanted to be a part of it. It was never a me-type of game; it was always our game."

That fourth inning also featured one of the two toughest outs Reynolds got from his defense. In the fourth, Hayden Mims moved in to grab a hard line drive for the inning's second out. The most critical may have come in the seventh when Blake Van Patten used his blistering speed to get the first out of the inning.

"A guy hit a killer ball off of me, and Blake Van Patten in center field ran - I don't even know how far - and made an on-the-run catch to save my no-hitter. Having guys like those two behind you makes it easy to pitch."

Reynolds ended the game the same way he started it, striking out a Titan to close out the best start of his career.

"That last batter was such a surreal moment. I've thrown good games before, I've thrown no-hitters before, but never in a complete game. Not a lot of people I know have thrown a complete game no-hitter. It was such a special moment," he said. "After losing in the semifinals two years in a row in the playoffs and working extremely hard in the offseason and the summer, meeting with coaches and other people to get ready for this year, to see a glimpse of succeeding. Those types of games is why you play."

Reynolds' efficiency was the key to the game. He only needed 90 pitches to toss the no-no, despite walking four batters and striking out eight more. While the Barons had plenty of fresh arms in the bullpen, Jones wanted to see his ace finish off an incredible performance.

"Everybody was available, but we started kinda looking in the third or fourth inning, and you could kinda see the way the game was trending," Jones said. "He had some pretty stress-free innings. It was nice having a little cushion where he could go out and let it rip."

Reynolds saw the week of games as a sign of what the Barons can accomplish at their best. They'll get four games in two days on Monday and Tuesday during spring break. After that, it's the home stretch of the season, which also means two rivalry games with Laurence Manning that will determine the region crown. With games like the pair they played against Trinity, Reynolds thinks Wilson Hall will be in good shape.

"We've played a lot of incomplete games where we have a good game hitting and a bad game pitching or vice versa. These two games against Trinity really were the first games where we hit well and played good defense and pitched well," he said. "Having those games back to back really showed the guys, especially the younger guys on the team, that if we play our game and play how we're supposed to play, we have a chance to go far."