Staples’ soccer, indoor track and baseball captain reached a milestone yesterday — his 100th career hit.
As the Norwalk Hour‘s Matt Doran notes, Jack Hennessy is only 26 hits shy of the state high school record. It was set by Bobby Valentine — yes, that Bobby Valentine — when he played for Rippowam High School in Stamford.
Here’s what Matt wrote about Jack on the “Hour Sports Minute” blog:
Jack Hennessy has been terrorizing opposing pitchers since the time he stepped on the field as a freshman four years ago. On Saturday, the scrappy second-baseman went where few high school baseball players ever go, collecting his 100th career hit during a 7-5 victory over St. Joseph in Trumbull.
Hennessy, a three-sport captain who started for four years in three different sports at Staples, has shown the ability to hit for power. But his strength has always been his speed and instincts for the game.
Simply put, Hennessy is a throwback, someone who does whatever it takes to get on base, whether it’s a double in the gap, a walk or a drag bunt. Once he’s on, Hennessy is a nightmare for opposing catchers — a major pain in the butt. Stealing bases and scoring runs is his job as the leadoff hitter at Staples, and Hennessy certainly does it well.
So it’s only fitting Hennessy, the 2009 FCIAC tournament MVP and the Hour’s All-Area MVP, reached the 100-hit milestone with a bunt single in the second inning.
“He used the entire field,” Staples head coach Jack McFarland said. “He probably has at least 15 bunt hits during his career and he also has eight or nine home runs. He’s a line-to-line hitter, and that’s what makes him so tough to defend.”
Hennessy, a terrific high school soccer player who has decided to run track at Boston College, is now 26 hits behind Bobby Valentine’s state record of 126 set during his days at Rippowam of Stamford.
Glenn Katz of Norwalk High, a former outfielder at UConn who played in the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system, owns the area record with 116 hits. Katz is also the co-coach of the Westport American Legion team.
McFarland isn’t sure where Hennessy stands on the Staples all-time hits list, but 100 definitely puts him in a class of his own.
“It just proves what a great player he is,” McFarland said. “Every coach in the FCIAC knows who he is. The goal is always to keep him off base. He makes an impact every game he plays.”