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Division's Anthony Papa tosses perfect game
Anthony Papa didn’t button his jacket when he went back into the dugout. He tossed to the same teammate and used the same ball.
His coach, Tom Tuttle, filled out his scorecard in exactly the same way every inning after the fifth, and didn't say a word about what was going on about 60 feet away from him.
And both of them kept it up...right up until Papa's Division teammates dogpiled him on the mound.
Monday, Papa, a junior, tossed the first perfect game of his career and the first perfect game for Division since at least the 70s in an 8-0 win over Great Neck North, Tuttle said. He struck out 17, with groundouts to shortstop, the pitcher and right field (outfielder Francis Alexander was playing shallow), and induced an unassisted out at first.
"He established that fastball down in the zone and he could throw his breaking stuff when he needed to," Tuttle said. "It was impressive because he’s a hard working kid he’s got great maturity. He got into the groove all we had to do is score one run."
Of course, Division is Division, and they jump at the opportunity to beat the tar out of the ball whenever they can. Joe Piscatelli went 2-for-4 with a run and Joe Spitaleri had a two-RBI single in the fifth, just to name a few highlights.
But the focus was, of course, Papa. Not that anyone mentioned it.
"I stayed in the same spot and didn't tell anyone," Tuttle said.
But the cheering got louder as the innings went on and, by the fifth, Papa got the sense that something special was going on. His only other no-hitter was when he was 12, on a travel team. This one was "much, much sweeter." Papa struck out the final batter swinging.
“I felt my fastball had a little more kick than usual,” said Papa, who set up batters with his breaking ball and then caused fits with the movement and velocity on his fastball. “It turned out to be a really good day.”
Some would even call it perfect.