Hauppauge senior lefthander Nick Fanti threw back-to-back no-hitters against Glenn and Huntington heading into Tuesday's Suffolk League V game against Bellport. Would he be the first high school pitcher on Long Island ever to throw three straight no-nos?
Well, he gave it a great shot. Fanti saw his bid end with one out in the top of the fifth inning, when Bellport's Kail McLean II dropped a one-out single into short leftfield. With his attempt to make history over, Fanti drew a round of applause.
"It felt great to get the hit,'' McLean said. "He threw two-no-hitters in a row and it was late in the game and I broke it up.''
Fanti finished the fifth and left with a 7-3 lead in a 13-3 win over Bellport. Fanti (4-0) has allowed only four hits in 24 innings and has struck out 47.
"Bellport had some good swings on me early and we made some great plays,'' he said. "I never got into a good rhythm and my pitch count  went too high. They're a good hitting team and battled me deep into counts. The win is really all that matters.''
Speaking of the end of his remarkable streak, Fanti said, "It was bound to happen at some point.''
He shared a good laugh with McLean at second base in the bottom of the fifth.
"I told him, 'You couldn't break up the no-hitter with a bomb or something -- it had to be a blooper,' '' Fanti said. "He started laughing and I told him, 'Good hit, man.' ''
Fanti struck out nine, walked five, hit one batter and allowed three earned runs in the fifth.
He also went 4-for-5 with a stolen base, three RBIs and three runs scored to lead a 15-hit attack. The Eagles' Kyle Wood keyed a four-run third inning with a two-run single to make it 5-0.
"He's been so good and went more than 18 innings without allowing a hit,'' Hauppauge coach Josh Gutes said. "He was overthrowing a little bit and got tired. But he gave us enough. And his hitting was awesome.''
Fanti gave Hauppauge (7-0) its first lead. Billy Huber tripled to lead off the first and scored on Fanti's hard single to rightfield to make it 1-0.
"I just look for ways to contribute, whether it's hitting or on the mound,'' said Fanti, who is hitting .576. "Today I couldn't completely get it done on the mound, so I helped out with the bat.''
Fanti struck out eight through the first four innings and carried the no-hit bid into the fifth thanks to some great defense by Nick Scozzari.
The leftfielder made a running catch on a Nick Dunning drive to end the third inning and robbed Mike Veit of an extra-base hit to lead off the fourth.
"He knows I always have his back,'' Scozzari said.
"He definitely saved me on those two plays,'' Fanti said. "He's one of my good friends."