For the past few weeks, IMG Academy baseball program pitching coach Steve Frey has worked with junior right-hander Brett Hanewich on sharpening his curveball.
"I told him that if he gets it right, it would be an unhittable pitch," Frey said. "I don't know if I meant that literally."
Hanewich's new curve -- as well as his 94-mph fastball -- overwhelmed Lakeland High on Tuesday evening to the tune of a 76-pitch no-hitter for Hanewich in a 3-0 victory for the IMG Academy baseball program.
"I just felt like everything was working," Hanewich said. "My fastball was going. My curveball was disgusting -- in a good way."
Josh Lifrak, a mental conditioning specialist at IMG Academy, was in the dugout for the performance and noticed a distinct calm and focus in Hanewich despite the other pitcher also carrying a no-hitter into the 5th inning and Hanewich walking and hitting batters in the bottom of the 7th inning.
"If you didn't have a scoreboard or had walked in only to see him pitch the 7th inning, you would not have know that he was in the midst of accomplishing one of the most difficult tasks in all of sports," Lifrak said."Every time he threw a pitch, he steadied himself. After each pitch, he steadied himself."
Hanewich received help from his teammates, led by Eric Myskowski making a diving catch in left field and Gustavo Polidor skying for a line drive at second base. And after he struck out the final batter of the game, Hanewich didn't scream in joy or get tackled by his teammates.
"I was pretty calm," he said. "It hit me a little bit on the ride home. I just wanted to stay humble and hungry. That's how I've been my whole life."