Mike Delio's young pitching career is off to a promising start to say the least. More accurately, the Carle Place (N.Y.) HIgh junior right-hander's varsity career is off to a perfect start — quite literally.
Throwing a perfect game in a 15-0 win over Hempstead on Tuesday, Delio struck out all 21 batters he faced, according to New York Newsday. It was his first career appearance at the varsity level after two previous season on JV. He is believed to be the first New York prep pitcher to accomplish the feat.
"I've had dreams of throwing no-hitters and perfect games but nothing like this," Delio, who mixed a fastball in the mid-80s and a knuckle-curve, told Newsday. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
After each inning, his best friend challenged him to strike out three more the next inning until he sent all 21 back to the dugout, Delio told a number of television stations that descended upon him following his newfound fame. Despite starting for the first time at the varsity level, he told Newsday that he didn't feel nervous until the late innings and breathed a sigh of relief when a sixth-inning bunt attempt rolled foul.
"Every time he takes the mound there is always the chance that he can do something special," Carle Place coach Brian Krummenacker told the paper on Tuesday. "Today was the day."
Delio is the first New York prep pitcher to strike out 21 batters in a no-hitter since Elmont (N.Y.) Memorial High's Daniel Aguilo three years ago. Oddly, Aguilo's effort, which included two walks, also came against Hempstead. Prior to 2011, no New Yorker had struck out 21 hitters in a no-hitter since 1969.
But none of them had been as perfect as Delio was to start his career. The only question left to answer is whether anyone will ever get on base against the Carle Place junior right-hander. Only time will tell.