California pitcher tosses 66-pitch perfect game in state playoff win

Cameron Smith

It’s one thing to throw a perfect game. It’s another entirely to do so in the manner that Michael Strem did.

St. Francis' Michael Strem, number 10, twirled a perfect game in the CIF playoffs — YouTube

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Strem tossed a perfect game in a 2-0 victory against Monta Vista (Calif.) High, leading Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis School on to the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.

Incredibly, Strem retired the 21 batters he faced on just 66 pitches, an average of just more than 3 pitchers per batter. According to the Mercury News, 48 of Strem’s offerings were strikes, with the St. Francis ace finishing the game with a total of 8 strikeouts.

As it turns out, it’s an awfully good thing that Strem was so effective. If he wasn’t, his team wouldn’t be playing anymore. The game remained a 0-0 stalemate until the sixth inning, when a single by St. Francis batter Mark Cardinalli drove in the game’s two runs with a single through the infield.

Naturally, Strem isn’t the first high school ace to toss a perfect game. Still, to spin the gem he did in the playoffs, with the efficiency of his pitch count is some achievement.

Of course, given the competition ahead of St. Francis, he may have to spin some more magic if they are to keep advancing. Given what he pulled off against Monta Vista, one would be wise not to doubt Strem’s effectiveness.

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