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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Perfection for BG pitcher

Nobody is sure how many perfect games have been pitched in the long and storied career of Manchester’s Gill Stadium, but it would be hard to imagine many more efficient than the one Bishop Guertin senior Joe McCarthy tossed on Tuesday afternoon.

Perfect games, by their definition, are efficient, but McCarthy’s involved just 73 pitches, most of them strikes. He went 3-0 on the first hitter of the game and didn’t get to three balls on any other hitter the rest of the game.

McCarthy recovered to get the leadoff hitter in the first on a 3-2 ground ball out and got the final hitter on Manchester Memorial’s loudest whack of the day, a long fly ball to center field.

“It probably would have been a home run at our own field,’’ McCarthy said, “but it wouldn’t have been out of Holman. My defense played great behind me all day.’’

The defensive play of the game came early, a soft liner to right in the first inning that Dan Brink snared with shoestring catch. There were a couple of fine plays at third John McQuarrie.

But the key all day was the synergy between McCarthy and catcher Alan McQuarrie.

“McQuarrie called a great game and Joe put the ball exactly where he wanted it,’’ Bishop Guertin coach Scott Painter said. “He mixed his pitchers well, using a fastball, curve, slider and change.’’

McCarthy, who signed a baseball scholarship with Southern New Hampshire University last winter, said it was the first no-hitter he’s thrown at any level.

“I guess I started realizing it in the third or fourth inning,’’ McCarthy said.

“The Memorial fans were actually chirping at me the whole game, but I love when I hear that stuff. It motivates me.’’

Painter estimated that the 6-foot-5 McCarthy’s fastball was in the high 80’s on Tuesday. He’s pitched well all season so far, allowing just three earned run in 20 innings.

But Tuesday was a day, he knows, he’ll never forget.