Baseball tradition says teammates are not supposed to speak to a pitcher working on a no-hitter. Former Hauppauge High School lefthander Nick Fanti knows this as well as anyone.
Fanti pitched a no-hitter Monday — the second one he’s been involved in this season — to lead the Lakewood BlueClaws of the Class A South Atlantic League to a 1-0 victory over the visiting Charleston RiverDogs.
“Third or fourth inning hits and less and less people are talking to you, and by the seventh inning, nobody’s talking to you,” said Fanti, who struck out 12 and retired the final 22 Charleston batters. “I found myself in the sixth, seventh inning trying to talk to some people and they are kind of blowing me off. That’s when it started hitting me.”
A two-out, full-count walk in the second inning gave Charleston its only baserunner against Fanti. Henri Lartigue’s home run in the bottom of the inning produced the game’s only run.
Fanti, 20, recorded the first 26 outs in a combined no-hitter against Tim Tebow’s Columbia Fireflies team on May 6 before being removed after 113 pitches, with roommate Trevor Bettencourt getting the final out. But Monday’s no-hitter, in a game that lasted only 1 hour, 49 minutes, was even more memorable for the Phillies prospect.
“This one was special because I got to throw it at home,” said Fanti, who threw consecutive no-hitters in his senior year at Hauppauge and won the Yastrzemski Award as Suffolk’s top player in 2015. “The energy in that ninth inning was just crazy. It was cool to take it all in. My dad was there for it, so I got to hug him after the game.”
After being congratulated by the same teammates who had ignored him in the previous innings, he knows this will be an outing he’ll never forget. “I haven’t had much time to think about it yet but it’s definitely going to be up there,” said Fanti, who is 7-2 with a 2.52 ERA, an 0.87 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 89 1⁄3 innings in 15 starts. “It’s one of those things that happens to you and you’re just kind of stunned about it. I’m sitting on a bus in Georgia, so I think it’s going to hit me at some point during this ride or tomorrow morning when I wake up how significant it was for me.”