It was a good sign for Newton South coach Ron Jordan that John Jennings was able to throw 60 pitches over four innings, giving up only one run on two hits while striking out seven. He hadn't thrown all spring due to arm soreness. But the senior UMass-Amherst commit was back to form for the Lions’ season opener.
However, it was his offensive performance that had Jordan in disbelief.
Jennings homered with two strikes in three of his four plate appearances -- good for six RBIs -- in the Lions’ 10-1 victory over Wayland.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never seen a kid hit three homers like that and dominate on the mound like that,” Jordan said.
After a solo shot in the third inning, Jennings went yard in consecutive innings during the Lions’ seven-run outburst over the fifth and sixth innings.
“He’s a heck of a player. We’re going to have to rely on him in our league,” Jordan said. “It was a good sign to see him go out there and throw four innings.”
Jennings mostly plays first base when not on the hill for the Lions -- Jordan likes to rest his arms as much as possible during the regular season -- but is also a viable option at third. He pitches and plays both corners of the diamond for AAU Northeast.
But perhaps the biggest testament to his athleticism besides what he does in the summer is what he does in the fall. Jennings is ranked as a top-50 field-goal kicker in the nation, and can also punt and put the ball in the end zone on kickoffs. He plans to walk onto the Minutemen football squad when he arrives in Amherst.
“Tremendous athlete. And if you looked at him, you’d say he doesn’t look it,” Jordan said. “But he really he is ... he can even screw around on the basketball court and do very well out there ... he’s very, very athletic.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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